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The Cost Benefits of Two V.A. Treatments for Posttraumatic Stress

01 Apr

Evaluators from the Minneapolis VA Health Care System assessed the impact of a course of prolonged exposure or cognitive processing therapy on mental health and medical service utilization and health care service costs.

Data on VA health service utilization and health care costs were obtained from national VA databases for 70 veterans who completed prolonged exposure or cognitive processing therapy at the VA medical center. Utilization of services and cost data were examined for the year before and after treatment.

Results demonstrated a significant decrease in the use of individual and group psychotherapy.  Direct costs associated with mental health care decreased by 39.4%.
 
Primary care and emergency department services remained unchanged.

Citation:  Meyers LL, Strom TQ, Leskela J, Thuras P, Kehle-Forbes SM, Curry KT. Service utilization following participation in cognitive processing therapy or prolonged exposure therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. Military Medicine. 2013 Jan;178 (1): pages 95-9.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award