PTSD Care for Veterans Topic of Hearings


Contact: Heather Woolwine


Pgr: Dial 843-792-0590 (Pgr ID: 12878)

Feb. 26, 2008

PTSD Care for Veterans Topic of Hearings

Kilpatrick to report problems in VA disability, compensation-pension system for veterans with PTSD

**links to audio of hearings below; set for 2 p.m. Feb 26, and 9:30 a.m. Feb. 27.

CHARLESTON -- Dean Kilpatrick, Ph.D., MUSC distinguished university professor and director of the National Crime Victim's Research and Treatment Center at MUSC's Institute of Psychiatry, will testify before Congress on behalf of the PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) Compensation Committee regarding findings in a May 2007 report. Issued to the Veterans Disability Benefits Commission, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report examines the Veterans Administration's (VA) practices in evaluating and compensating veterans for PTSD. Overall, the IOM report found:

• Scales used to measure PTSD in veterans have limited usefulness in determining the level of disability

• Scientific literature supports a type of PTSD, delayed onset, that manifests long after the original traumatic situation, scenario or act took place

• PTSD veterans can be misdiagnosed or not develop a full-threshold of PTSD yet still experience problems

Kilpatrick's testimony will take place before the Senate and House committees on Veterans Affairs at hearings today and Wednesday, the 27th. Both meetings will be held at the full committee level. Three issues in the IOM report received particular attention: the creation of PTSD-specific evaluation criteria, the advisability of periodic reexamination of veterans who are receiving compensation, and quality of life compensation. Kilpatrick is expected to recommend short-term and long-term changes regarding the diagnosis and access to disability benefits for veterans with PTSD.

Kilpatrick will be available for interviews by phone from 5-9 p.m. EST Feb. 26 and after 11 a.m. EST Feb. 27.

** House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs

A little before 2:00pm EST on Tuesday (Feb. 26), a link---which will probably be labeled "audio coverage" [video is not available] ---should appear just below the date/time/hearing location listings at:'newsid=197

** Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs

A little before 9:30am EST on Wednesday (Feb. 27), a link to a live audio and video feed should appear at:'pageid=16&release_id=11532

Almost one year ago, President Bush established by executive order (EO 13426) the Commission of Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors. The committees mentioned above and others are engaged on behalf of the commission to:

• study the transition for wounded veterans into productive military service or civilian society and recommend improvements;

• evaluate the coordination, management, and adequacy of the delivery of health care, disability, traumatic injury, education, employment, and other benefits and services;

• analyze the effectiveness of existing outreach to service members regarding such benefits and services, and service members' level of awareness of and ability to access these benefits and services,

• identify ways to reduce barriers to and gaps in benefits and services;

• consult with foundations, veterans service organizations, non-profit groups, faith-based organizations, and others as appropriate

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 10,000 employees, including 1,300 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.3 billion. MUSC operates a 600-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit or