News and Resources
Q&A: Expert Shares How VA Uses Academic Detailing to Reduce Opioid Abuse
By DCoE Knowledge Translation Team Posted Sept. 21, 2017
Last week we sat down with Dr. Melissa Christopher, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national director of Academic Detailing Services, to discuss the work her team does to combat the national opioid crisis.
Patients are usually worried about their medications, and there’s a lot of fear around being abandoned with their pain. Many of these patients also have comorbid mental health conditions – their pain likely started because of their combat service, and they have legitimate concerns that their condition will impact their quality of life. We have found that frontline clinicians need support handling these complex circumstances for their patients.
Additionally, there’s a lot of burnout in health care, so one of our focuses in academic detailing is to create that necessary network of providers so they’re not isolated as they tackle the opioid epidemic. We’re attentive to that in this intervention. We are always trying to look at ways to work smarter, not harder.
Identify, Intervene: Help Your Loved One with TBI
Posted by DCoE Public Affairs on September 19, 2017
This article is the second in a three-part series from the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE)on helping the loved ones of service members identify the signs of brain injury and mental health issues.
It’s not always the injured person who notices that something is “off.” In fact, it’s often a spouse or family member who recognizes the signs that something’s wrong. Many times, they are also the first to speak up. That was the case when Army Sgt. 1st Class Bradley Lee’s wife noticed her husband’s abnormal symptoms and took the risk to get him help.
Retired Tech. Sgt. Chris Ferrell, a former explosive ordnance disposal technician with posttraumatic stress disorder and TBI after combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, shares a laugh about his new beard in the backyard of his in-laws home. (U.S. Air Force photo by J.M. Eddins Jr.)
What is a TBI?
A TBI occurs when a sudden jolt — from something like a motorcycle or bicycle accident, a fender-bender, a gun recoil on the shooting range, or a tackle in a friendly game of football — causes the brain to hit the skull. The resulting injury can be mild, moderate or severe. You may be more familiar with the term concussion, which is also known as mild traumatic brain injury.
The warning signs that your loved one may have a TBI aren’t always visible at first glance. A Head for the Future recommends watching out for the following signs and symptoms:
TBI can also affect someone’s cognitive and emotional health. Symptoms include:
According to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) Caregiver Curriculum, it’s important to remember that the changes you may see are the direct result of the injury. Behavior changes aren’t a result of your loved one intentionally trying to act or think in a way that may be different or feel hurtful. It’s also important to remember that all cases are different.
When you see something wrong with someone you care about, it’s natural to want to help. The good news is that TBI is a treatable condition and most people have a full recovery. And, there are a variety of treatment options available.
The Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury has a 24/7 Outreach Center dedicated to helping you find resources in your area. The DVBIC Recovery and Support Program ensures that service members are supported and connected — and stay connected — to appropriate resources as they progress through to recovery.
If you think someone you know experienced a TBI and are displaying symptoms, talk about your concerns. See if you can persuade your loved one to see a doctor.
Preventing a TBI
You can’t always prevent a fall or an accident, but there are ways to prevent or limit the severity of an injury! The following tips may help keep you and your loved ones safe:
If you do suffer a blow or strike to the head, take a break from whatever activity you were doing; if you are really worried, go to the nearest clinic or hospital
The DCoE Resource Catalog is your one-stop guide for information about current DCoE products and programs, such as:
Whether you are a service member, health care provider or family member, there is a section for you.
The catalog includes product and program descriptions, images of what the resources look like, and access information.
Presenter: Holly O’Reilly, Ph.D.
(P1002) The Power of the Parallel: Using Culturally Appropriate Approaches to Create Positive Therapy Outcomes for Mental Health Providers Working with Service Members and Veterans
(P1003) Approaches to Opioid Use Disorder: Getting Evidence-Based Practices to the Field in Federal Health Care and Prevention
(P1004) Delivering Clinical Practice Guideline–Concordant Care for PTSD and Major Depression in Military Treatment Facilities
(P1005) Quality of Care for PTSD and Depression Delivered by the Military Health System
Traumatic Brain Injury
(T1001) Long-Term Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury: The 15 Year Longitudinal TBI Studies and IMAP Study
(T1002) Evidence from the Warrior Strong Longitudinal Study: Post Concussive Symptoms Common in Soldiers Who Have Returned Home
(T1003) Gender Differences in TBI
(T1004) Management of Acute Concussion: From Injury to Return to Duty: Using the Military Acute Concussion Evaluation (MACE), Clinical Management Algorithm (CMA) & Progressive Return to Activity (PRA) Algorithms
(P2001) Advancing Clinical Best Practices through Implementation Science: DoD/VA Practice Based Implementation Network and Tech into Care
(P2002) Overview of Neuroimaging in Military Traumatic Brain Injury
(P2003) Remote Combat Stress: Psychological Outcomes Related to Remote Combat/Graphic Media Exploitation Operations
(P2004) Combat and Operational Stress Control (COSC) Panel Discussion
(P2005) Adverse Outcomes Associated with Sexual Trauma among U.S. Servicemen: Findings from the Millennium Cohort Study
Traumatic Brain Injury
(T2001) Bees in my Helmet: Role of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in Mild Memory Impairment: A Practical Guide to Treatment
Presenter: George Charpied, M.A., S.L.P.-C.C.C.
Presenter: Army Col. Beverly Scott, M.D.
Presenter: Lars Hungerford, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.-C.N.
(T2004) Outcomes of Training Service Members With a History of mTBI in Assistive Technology for Cognition
Presenter: Carole Roth, Ph.D., C.C.C., B.C.-A.N.C.D.S.
Presenters: Robin Winslow, O.D.; Abby Wicks, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Presenter: Navy Cmdr. Josh Duckworth, M.D.
(P3001) The Intersection of Primary Care Behavioral Health and Specialty Behavioral Health: Strategies to Improve Care Coordination and Communication
(P3002) National Military Family Bereavement Study: The Effect of Military Service Death on Family Members
(P3003) Screening, Assessing and Treating Gambling Disorder in the Department of Defense
Traumatic Brain Injury
Presenter: Jonathan P. Wolf, M.D.
Presenter: Edison Wong, M.D., M.S.
(T3003) Interdisciplinary Care: The Trifecta for Patient Quality Outcomes, Medical Readiness and Return on Investment
Presenters: Juan Rivera, M.D., F.A.C.S., M.B.A.; Kendra Jorgensen-Wagers, Ph.D., L.C.M.H.C., C.R.C.