It is estimated that a half million veterans from recent deployments in the Middle East conflicts and about 479,000 veterans deployed during the Vietnam War are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Current treatments are limited by a relatively high frequency of patients who do not continue with their therapy. With increased PTSD diagnosis and limited effectiveness of treatments, there is a growing need to research and develop new therapies to better assist affected service members. The present study assessed the clinical validity of Complementary and Alternative Medicine therapies for the treatment of PTSD symptoms in a military population using a systematic review design. It was hypothesized that a veteran diagnosed with PTSD who is treated with Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies will experience a greater improvement in their PTSD symptoms than a veteran diagnosed with PTSD who is treated with other, current evidence-based treatments (CEBT). Data were obtained from empirical articles that compared and contrasted CAM therapies against CEBT’s across commonly used PTSD symptom assessment scales. Though CAM therapies were not shown to be significantly superior to other therapies, the findings did indicate that select CAM therapies have valid, clinical implications for the reduction of PTSD symptoms in a veteran population. More research is needed to assess, isolate, and standardize CAM therapies for the treatment of PTSD in different veteran populations.
Snelgrove, B.D. (2015). Treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in a veteran population: Efficacy of complementary and alternative medicine. Kevin and Tam Ross Undergraduate Research Prize. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.chapman.edu/undergraduateresearchprize/10