The Pacific Islands Division in Honolulu, HI, was created to advance PTSD work in the Pacific Rim and to focus on improving access to care for active duty personnel and Veterans by improving understanding of cultural attitudes and the use of advanced technology such as telemedicine to reach out to Veterans unable to access adequate care.
Pacific Islands Division (PID) research has recently been funded to study how to overcome barriers to care for Veterans and active duty military. Several survey studies have examined knowledge of and barriers to care for Veterans, National Guard members, and their spouses. Results of a four-year clinical trial on the efficacy of providing anger management group therapy for Veterans via video conferencing was recently published, and a study of telemedicine intervention for domestic violence is currently underway.
PID researchers are in the midst of trials to deliver evidence based PTSD treatments via videoconferencing, including Cognitive Processing Therapy to rural CBOCs, the benefits of CPT for female Veterans, delivering polytrauma treatment by a team of specialists to Veterans who have difficulty leaving their homes, and following up with Veterans who have completed residential treatment with group videoconferencing of the cohort once they return home.
DOD funding has also allowed for the development of several new assessment tools, one to assess funcational status in veterans with PTSD, and another to help front line medical support personnel to more rapidly and accurately detect PTSD and concussion in order to get the service member into appropirate treatment. Ongoing research also is examining the benefits of treating comorbid somatic and cognitive complaints along with evidence based treatments in veterans with PTSD.