Preliminary Study Shows Positive Impact to Veterans Dealing with Post Traumatic Stress and Readjustment Issues

AMVETS Announces Evaluation of Freedom and Honor Warrior Transition Workshops

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Lanham, Maryland (PRWEB) April 17, 2014

AMVETS announced today a scientific evaluation conducted by Freedom and Honor under the direction of the American Institutes for Research® (AIR) show statistically significant results of AMVETS Freedom and Honor Warrior Transition Workshops (WTW) in addressing Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and reintegration-related challenges. The report can be found at http://www.amvets.org.

WTWs are peer-to peer, hands-on reintegration trainings conducted over 2.5-days using techniques proven effective in addressing the emotional and physical impact of trauma including multi-media, peer-to-peer engagement, paradigm shift and bioenergetics methodologies, as well as a well-crafted blend of military history, legend and ritual. The WTW program is open to veterans, active duty, Guard and Reserve to address Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and reintegration challenges and is provided at no cost to participants.

“Studies show that approximately 63% of veterans will not seek the help of mental health professionals,” said Stewart Hickey, Executive Director of AMVETS. “Many have concerns mainly due to the perceived stigma that comes with mental health counseling and the affect on their careers. AMVETS is committed to ensuring those who have served their nation are provided viable, effective and complimentary alternatives to the prevailing mental health approaches. The preliminary results of the study are very promising in validating the WTWs are truly making a difference for the participants.”

Freedom and Honor’s first study of the Freedom and Honor Warrior Transition program demonstrated the most consistent improvements were in areas of pain interference, sleep disturbance, anger, anxiety and social isolation.

“The results for this evaluation were impressive and speak to the need for a larger study of the WTWs,” stated Dr. San Keller, Principal Scientist from AIR. “Future evaluations will be conducted to assess the generalizability of these results to a larger group of participants.”

Data for the assessment of health outcomes were collected using the Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS®). PROMIS® is a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund initiative to assess a person’s health—including their ability to fulfill complex social roles, their ability to conduct their normal activities, and whether and how much they are suffering (https://commonfund.nih.gov/promis/).

WTW participants responded anonymously to PROMIS® questions on alcohol use, anger, anxiety, depression, emotional support, fatigue, pain interference, sleep disturbance, and social isolation. PROMIS assessment data showed that participants enjoyed an immediate improvement in symptoms following the WTW and that these improvements continued at the one-month evaluation. The results of this evaluation also demonstrated the experiential value that this program had for participants in the two WTWs that were evaluated. Participants were unanimous in stating that the program met their goals and that they would recommend the workshop to their peers and superiors.

The AMVETS Freedom and Honor Warrior Transition Workshops are designed to assist active military personnel and veterans with combat stress and readjustment issues achieve successful and healthy reintegration. Through expert evaluation, AMVETS is committed to evaluating this model of warrior transition trainings and determine its value for integration into the DoD and Veterans Affairs post-deployment programs to expand existing services and provide alternative routes for Veterans, Active Duty Guard and Reserve to address Post Traumatic Stress and reintegration challenges.

About AIR:
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit http://www.air.org.

About AMVETS:    
A leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America’s armed forces, AMVETS provides support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, as well as community service and legislative reform that enhances the quality of life for this nation’s citizens and veterans alike. AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally chartered veterans’ service organizations in the United States, and includes members from each branch of the military, including the National Guard and Reserves. For more information visit http://www.amvets.org.


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