Monday, November 22, 2010

Veterans: Traumas resurface at end-of-life -

U.S. researchers have tailored a program to help veterans whose traumas resurface at end-of-life.

Researchers led by Dr. Joshua Hauser of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and Dr. Amos Bailey of the University of Alabama at Birmingham have developed a program they say is tailored to meet veterans' end-of-life needs.

"Many veterans, at the end of their lives, struggle with issues related to a traumatic event they had during their time in service," Bailey says in a statement. "They may have had a physical or emotional disability related to their time in service."

In addition to dealing with battle experiences, the new program -- Education on Palliative and End-of-Life Care for Veterans Project -- addresses sexual trauma and substance abuse during service, as well as how the particular war in which a veteran served affects both emotional and physical care, and other issues.

"Because these war memories come up more frequently near the end of life, palliative care providers need to be alert for these issues," Hauser says. "We want to show healthcare professionals how someone's individual war memories come up and how those can be talked about."

The program, which began in October, is scheduled to be introduced in 170 Veterans Administration Medical Centers around the country during the next 12 months.


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