The Air Force http://dvbic.dcoe.mil is going to open a new clinic specializing in treating invisible wounds with an emphasis on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), PTSD, and pain. According to Col. (Dr.) Caesar Junker, Chief of Wounded Warrior Programs for the Air Force Surgeon General, “Many patients with TBI may also be suffering from PTSD, depression, anxiety, sleep issues, musculoskeletal complaints, and pain.”
The interdisciplinary approach includes multiple specialists examining the patient, including neurologists, occupational therapists, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, sports medicine physicians, psychiatrists, pain doctors, and primary care physicians.
The new clinic plans to open in 2018 and will be located at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida and help develop standard clinical practices for diagnosing and treating TBIs. The Air Force reports that TBI and PTSD are often considered the signature injuries of 21st Century conflicts which has led to major investments of time and money in research to develop diagnostic and treatment methods for TBI. Many of these methods have been proposed and studied, but not all have proven to be equally effective.
TBI care will also be available at the new clinic called the “Intensive Outpatient Program” (IOP). Patients stay at the clinic for 1-4 weeks, while getting care on a regular schedule and take classes from occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, and art and music therapists. Meditation and yoga will also be incorporated to help the patient’s cope with their illness. They will be seen in groups of 6-10 patients and these patients will go through the program together.