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Psychosocial Issues for Veterans

Fraser, C. (2011). Family issues associated with military deployment, family violence, and military sexual trauma. Nursing Clinics of North America, 46(4), 445-455.
This article provides a review of literature and research related to military deployment and the effect of deployment on families. The authors conclude with a review of research on family violence and military sexual trauma.

Gaylord, K. M. (2006). The psychosocial effects of combat: The frequently unseen injury. Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America, 18(3), 349-357.
This article discusses the importance of early identification and treatment of mental health problems to decrease the psychosocial impact of combat and thus prevent progression to more chronic and severe psychopathology such as depression and PTSD.

Goldstein, G., Luther, J. F., & Haas, G. L. (2012). Medical, psychiatric and demographic factors associated with suicidal behavior in homeless veterans. Journal of Psychiatry Research [reference incomplete]. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2012.03.029
This study evaluated the potential for suicidal behaviors associated with sociodemographic, predisposing physical and mental health factors and self-reported psychological problems among homeless veterans in a large northeastern region.

Hoerster, K. D., Malte, C. A., Imel, Z. E., Ahmad, Z., Hunt, S. C., & Jakupcak, M. (2012). Association of perceived barriers with prospective use of VA mental health care among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Psychiatric Services, 63(4), 380-382. doi:10.1176/
This study examined the relationship between perceived barriers and prospective use of mental health care among veterans. The sample included Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with symptoms of depression or PTSD or alcohol misuse at intake to a postdeployment clinic. Researchers concluded that male veterans with mental health problems should be targeted with outreach to reduce unmet need.

Hundt, N. E., & Holohan, D. R. (2012). The role of shame in distinguishing perpetrators of intimate partner violence in U.S. veterans. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 25(2), 191-197. doi:10.1002/jts.21688
This cross-sectional study examined the relationship in US veterans between intimate partner violence (IPV), post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression, guilt, and shame. Results of this study were similar to previous studies indicating that shame is linked to IPV perpetration in nonveteran samples and suggests that shame may be an important aspect of the relationship between PTSD and IPV.

Rice, T. R., & Sher, L. (2012). Suicidal behavior in war veterans. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 12(5), 611-624. doi:10.1586/ern.12.31
This paper presents a critical review of the literature and provides an overview of neuropsychiatric research in psychiatric comorbidity, subthreshold symptomology, select signature disorders of contemporary conflicts (namely, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury), and veteran life narratives with a select focus upon these topics of special interest.

Sternke, L. M. (2011). Measurement of military combat exposure among women: Analysis and implications. Women's Health Issues, 21(4 Suppl), S160-S168.
The purpose of this study was to examine combat exposure measurement instruments used since the Vietnam War, determine how these instruments were developed and psychometrically tested, and if they are appropriate for use with women veterans exposed to combat. The authors conclude that women veterans are substantially under-represented in the development and psychometric testing of combat exposure instruments, indicating a male gender bias in most combat measures.

Tsan, J. Y., Zeber, J. E., Stock, E. M., Sun, F., & Copeland, L. A. (2012). Primary care-mental health integration and treatment retention among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Psychological Services. doi:10.1037/a0028308
This study examined the lag time between first primary care-mental health integration (PC-MHI) visit and next mental/medical care visit, if any, and the relationship of PC-MHI with short-term (subsequent year) and long-term (four years later) use of VA.

Walker, S. (2010). Assessing the mental health consequences of military combat in Iraq and Afghanistan: A literature review. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 17(9), 790-796.
This article describes a review of the literature to explore how a military career may affect the mental health of serving and ex-service personnel. It also sought to identify the accessibility and helpfulness of support (both during and after military service) and to make recommendations for change.

Williams, I., & Bernstein, K. (2011). Military sexual trauma among U.S. female veterans. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 25(2), 138-147.
The authors explore the phenomenon of sexual aggression against female veterans in the US military, risk factors for military sexual trauma (MST), PTSD as a result of MST, a conceptual framework for treating PTSD stress, and treatment strategies for PTSD.

Wright, K. M., Foran, H. M., Wood, M. D., Eckford, R. D., & McGurk, D. (2012). Alcohol problems, aggression, and other externalizing behaviors after return from deployment: Understanding the role of combat exposure, internalizing symptoms, and social environment. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68, 782-800. doi:10.1002/jclp.21864
The study examined whether elevated rates of externalizing behaviors following deployment could be explained by internalizing symptoms (depression, anxiety, and PTSD symptoms) and health of the social environment (unit leadership, organizational support, and stigma/barriers to care). Results found that externalizing behaviors were highly stable over the five-month postdeployment period. Both social environment and internalizing symptoms were significantly associated with level of externalizing behaviors at four months and nine months postdeployment, but combat exposure alone significantly predicted change in externalizing behaviors over the follow-up period. The researchers suggest that there is a need to broaden the scope of interventions that target combat veterans.