American Legion Launches TBI/PTSD Survey

Ex-DoD Cop's Case Shows Murky Reality for PTSD Sufferers

Veterans who suffer from either condition are urged to participate in the Legion's month-long survey online

WASHINGTON – The American Legion is encouraging veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to participate in its online survey during the month of February.

The country's largest organization of wartime veterans is conducting the voluntary survey to gather information about the care and treatment received for the two conditions, including veterans' experiences with complementary and alternative treatments.

The Legion's National Executive Committee authorized the survey as a follow-up to the organization's report on TBI and PTSD, "The War Within," released last September after more than three years of research. The report was issued publicly and shared with medical leadership at the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

"The American Legion is very concerned by the unprecedented number of veterans who suffer from these two conditions," said William Detweiler, chairman of the Legion's permanent committee on TBI and PTSD. "We advocate the adoption of all effective treatments and cures, including alternatives being used in the private sector."

Members of Detweiler's committee and the Legion's Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Committee worked with Data Recognition Corporation (DRC) in Washington to develop questions for the survey.

"This innovative survey, developed by The American Legion and DRC, represents a unique look at the experiences of veterans who receive health care at VA facilities," said DRC's Dr. Jeff Greenberg, senior director of research.  "This new survey focuses on health outcomes and treatment, as opposed to traditional health-care experience variables, and supports the VA's goal to provide the finest quality of care to veterans."

The survey includes questions that concern gender, era of service, number of times deployed, TBI and/or PTSD diagnoses, scheduling, types of treatment, reported symptoms and side effects.

Detweiler said the Legion survey, which ends on Feb. 28, is entirely confidential. "Although we're also requesting demographic data such as age, branch of service, and where veterans have received treatment, this information won't be used to identify individuals who complete the survey."

Greenberg said DRC will store survey results securely and eventually destroy them, in accordance with industry standards.

Findings from the survey, Detweiler said, will be shared with federal agencies, the health-care industry and the media. "By completing this survey, veterans across America will have the opportunity to tell their stories about the treatment they have received for PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. Their responses will inform The American Legion's position on the care and treatment for these injuries so that it can advocate effectively for its members."

Click here to take The American Legion's survey.

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