Health Professional Digest Volume 1, Issue 16
The HHS Office on Women’s Health (OWH) knows how important it is for you to have the latest information on prevention and treatment to help you best serve your patients. Each month, we will share a curated list of tools and resources that you can immediately put into practice.
PTSD Screening and Treatment — News You Can Use
Women can be at risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after experiencing traumatic events, which more than half of all women will experience in their lives. PTSD can be a debilitating condition that makes it hard to continue with daily activities. Further, even after undergoing some treatment, patients with unrecognized or unaddressed symptoms may fail to complete their treatment and have a greater risk for relapse of psychological symptoms and substance use. Careful screening practices can help health professionals see the full picture of a patient’s trauma history and better detect and address all related symptoms, not just those that partially explain a patient’s PTSD. Mark PTSD Awareness Month this June by reviewing the most recent tools and resources to detect PTSD and effectively treat your patients.
PTSD Assessment Instruments
Careful initial and periodic assessments are key to providing evidence-based care and can inform possible treatment options, guide treatment, and gauge progress. The American Psychological Association (APA)’s PTSD assessment instruments can be used to screen, diagnose, and track your patient's treatment outcomes.
Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of PTSD
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Defense developed a Clinical Practice Guideline to help health professionals diagnose, treat, and follow up with patients who have PTSD. Successful implementation of these guidelines will:
- Enhance assessment of the patient’s condition and determine the best treatment method through collaboration with the patient and the patient’s family and caregivers
- Optimize the patient’s health outcomes and improve quality of life
- Minimize preventable complications and morbidity
- Emphasize the use of patient-centered care
APA provides free case examples of strongly and conditionally recommended interventions in the treatment of PTSD. Use these treatments to supplement your care plan for your patients living with PTSD.
For Your Patients
Encourage your patients to engage with the following resources:
- VA’s Understanding PTSD and PTSD Treatment booklet
- VA’s PTSD Treatment Decision Aid
- The Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s PTSD screening test
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s PTSD web page
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