The American Legion is urging veterans with traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder to participate in a voluntary online survey it has launched to gather information about the care and treatment received for the two conditions.
The survey, which runs through February, is part of the legion’s research on the two mental health issues, which together affect
more than a half-million veterans.
In 2010, the legion created a committee to study treatments used for traumatic brain injury and PTSD by the private sector and by the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs; it issued a report in September to members of Congress.
Since the beginning of the month, more than 1,600 veterans have participated in the survey.
“The American Legion is very concerned by the unprecedented number of veterans who suffer from these two conditions,” said William Detweiler, the legion’s past national commander and the chairman of its permanent committee on the two injuries. “We advocate the adoption of all effective treatments and cures, including alternatives being used in the private sector.”
The survey includes questions on gender, era of service, number of times deployed, diagnoses for the disorders, scheduling, types of treatment, reported symptoms and side effects.
In some of the questions, respondents are asked whether their health-care providers have been receptive to using complementary and alternative treatments for the injuries. Respondents are asked about any side effects from their treatment and, if they chose to
stop receiving it, why they did so.
Data Research Corp. assisted the American Legion in developing questions.
“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,” said Dr. Jeff Greenberg, the senior director of research for Data Research.
Detweiler said the survey, which ends Feb. 28, is confidential. Its findings, he said, will be shared with federal agencies, the health care industry and the media.
“We want to hear directly from veterans on their experiences as patients, and whether they believe they are receiving timely and high-quality health care,” Detweiler said.