Outlook optimistic for returning U.S. veterans

Two decades of research by Rumi Kato Price, PhD, a professor of psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine, shows reason for optimism about the future of returning soldiers. “The notion that our soldiers deployed to conflict regions come back ‘broken’ is a one-sided story in the media,” says Price, whose research has explored trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and suicide among American military service members and veterans.

Hire Heroes Act will help change perceptions of veterans entering tough job market

Veterans are returning home to an abysmal economy and a tough job market. “After World War II, employers used to snap up veterans because of their tremendous skills sets gained in the service — whether that be technical, leadership, or other job specific aptitudes,” says Monica Matthieu, PhD, research assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and an expert on veteran mental health. “But now, veterans are facing higher unemployment rates than civilians as employers may be concerned about veterans’ struggle with the mental and physical health aftereffects of military service,” she says.

Device no better than cheaper alternatives for preventing intraoperative awareness

Anesthesiology researchers have shown that a device to reduce the risk that patients will recall their surgery does not lower the risk of intraoperative awareness any more than a less expensive method. Unintended intraoperative awareness occurs when a patient becomes aware during surgery and later remembers being in pain or feeling distress during the operation. 

Cambodians unsure tribunals will heal wounds of mass killings, JAMA study suggests

These skulls, from victims of the Khmer Rouge, are on display in a Buddhist stupa at Choeung Ek, a mass burial site commonly known as one of “the killing fields.”Lessons learned from research into the societal effects of post-Apartheid “truth and reconciliation” hearings in South Africa are now being applied to a U.S. National Institute of Peace-sponsored study of the long-term mental health impact on Cambodians from human rights tribunals targeting the killing of millions by the nation’s former Khmer Rouge regime, says James L. Gibson, a professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis and co-author of a study published Aug. 6 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

A growing problem for veterans — domestic violence

“The increasing number of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) raises the risk of domestic violence and its consequences on families and children in communities across the United States,” says Monica Matthieu, Ph.D., an expert on veteran mental health and an assistant professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis. Treatments for domestic violence are very different than those for PTSD. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has mental health services and treatments for PTSD, yet these services need to be combined with the specialized domestic violence intervention programs offered by community agencies for those veterans engaging in battering behavior against intimate partners and families.”