October 2016

VA Program Seeks to Disseminate Best Practices Throughout System

VA Program Seeks to Disseminate Best Practices Throughout System

An iPad questionnaire completed in the waiting rooms of VAMCs is helping clinicians more quickly identify patient suicide risk.

Suicide Risk Remains Much Higher for Military, Veterans Than Civilian U.S. Population

Suicide Risk Remains Much Higher for Military, Veterans Than Civilian U.S. Population

Suicide rates in the general U.S. population rose to their highest level in 30 years in 2014, but among both active-duty servicemembers and veterans, the rates were higher still.

Sleep Disorders Increase Sixfold in Veterans; Women Especially Affected

Sleep Disorders Increase Sixfold in Veterans; Women Especially Affected

Sleep—or, more precisely, the lack thereof—continues to complicate mental and physical health for veterans and military servicemembers.

Costs Higher When RA Patients Switch TNFi Therapies

How are clinical outcomes and drug/administration costs of treatment affected when VA patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) use tumor necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) agents?

Smoking Associated With RA Severity at VA

Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis and has been associated with increased disease severity and lower rates of disease remission.

Which Drugs Cause Weight Gain, Loss in RA?

Unintentional weight loss often can help predict long-term outcomes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Refill Synchronization Significantly Improves Adherence Among Some Groups

Refill Synchronization Significantly Improves Adherence Among Some Groups

As every pharmacist and physician knows, medications only work if patients take them as prescribed—and increasing consistent adherence remains one of the biggest challenges in medicine.

Pain Levels Improve in Most VA-Treated Veterans As They Age

Pain Levels Improve in Most VA-Treated Veterans As They Age

Time is said to heal all wounds, and that might also be the case with older military veterans suffering from pain.

IBM’s Watson Expands Access to Precision Medicine for Veterans With Cancer

IBM’s Watson Expands Access to Precision Medicine for Veterans With Cancer

While Dr. Watson of Sherlock Holmes fame often missed the critical clue, the VA expects its new partnership with IBM’s Watson to help it detect the genomic fingerprints of cancer and make effective treatments less of a mystery.

Rules Keep Some VA Cancer Patients from Receiving Concurrent Care in Hospice

Rules Keep Some VA Cancer Patients from Receiving Concurrent Care in Hospice

According to VHA rules, veterans with cancer need not make the “terrible choice” between receiving therapies to combat their illness or hospice services.

Study Links Depression, Substance Abuse in Veterans

What are the patterns over time of depression, smoking, unhealthy alcohol use and other substance use among individuals receiving medical care, and when are integrated screening and treatment strategies warranted?

Combat Increases Female Veterans’ Mental Issues

While an association between combat exposure and post-deployment behavioral health problems has been demonstrated among U.S. military servicemembers returning from Afghanistan or Iraq in predominantly male samples, few studies have focused on the experiences of women.

Depression, PTSD Most Often Led to Cognitive Impairment

Self-reported cognitive impairment, such as problems with attention, concentration and memory in veterans, is more likely to occur with depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than with combat-related traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Impetigo, Psoriasis Might Increase Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Risk

Impetigo, Psoriasis Might Increase Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Risk

Recent research has focused on some etiological factors to help predict who is at risk for developing cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), which occurs disproportionately in veterans.