The VA has launched a new online tool this week that will help veterans compare various treatment options for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The PTSD Treatment Decision Aid is a free, interactive online tool that helps educate patients about effective treatment options for PTSD and encourages them to participate actively in decisions about their care.
“The health and well-being of the courageous men and women who have served their country in uniform is the VA's highest priority,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “The PTSD Treatment Decision Aid is an important step in putting veterans in control of their health care. By helping to bridge understanding and communication between veterans and providers about the most effective treatment options available, we are ensuring veterans receive the treatments that best promote their healing and recovery.”
The tool includes information about evidence-based PTSD treatments, such as talk therapy and prescription medication options. It also includes useful information designed for people who have served in the military. Users can watch videos of providers explaining different treatment options and what to expect with those treatments, and hear from veterans who have benefited from them.
Veterans can also build a chart to compare the treatments they prefer and print a personalized summary to share with their providers. All personal information is erased once the tool is closed to protect users' privacy.
According to VA findings, approximately eight of every 100 people will experience PTSD at some point in their lifetimes, and almost 620,000 of the veterans treated by VA have a diagnosis of PTSD.
“We know from research and our own clinical experience that veterans can recover and improve their quality of life with the right PTSD treatment plan,” said Dr. Poonam Alaigh, VA's Acting Under Secretary for Health. “We want our veterans and those who care for them to have access to effective treatment options. Knowing about the latest research can help them get the best care possible.”
To learn more about PTSD visit the National Center for PTSD website at www.ptsd.va.gov. Health-care providers who have questions about the PTSD Treatment Decision Aid or other free resources can email the PTSD Consultation Program at PTSDconsult@va.gov or call 866-948-7880.