An esteemed honor for the Home Base team: Timothy J. Petersen, PhD and Mireya F. Nadal, MD, were selected to present a case demonstrating the Home Base model of clinical care for Post-9/11 Veterans as part of the New England Journal of Medicine’s Clinicopathological Case Series. In addition to the presentation, the case will be published in the New England Journal of Medicine during the summer of 2017.
“Invisible wounds of war,” such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are widely recognized as the signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, for those not immersed in the clinical care of Veterans, it can be difficult to grasp how diagnostically complex this population can be. This presentation aimed to walk the audience through the process by which Home Base arrives at a diagnosis and selects matching evidence-based treatments.
The case presentation took place at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds on May 4. Abigail L. Donovan, MD of MGH Psychiatry, and Yelena Kamenker-Orlov, of VA Boston Healthcare, joined Petersen and Nadal for their presentation on a patient who was ultimately diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and co-morbid substance abuse.
“Patients seen for evaluation at Home Base are diagnostically complex,” says Petersen. “It is critical that we use every tool available to reach an accurate diagnosis, which can then guide choice of evidence-based treatments, with the ultimate aim being full restoration of psycho-social functioning.”
Per the latest VA statistics presented by Kamenker-Orlov, the time from onset of PSTD and /or TBI to time of initial treatment is typically around 12 years. Training healthcare providers to better recognize symptoms of TBI and PTSD could help shorten this time frame. For the patient, a diagnosis is the first step on this long road to recovery.
By publishing a case demonstrating the Home Base model of clinical care, the esteemed New England Journal of Medicine is further validating that the folks at Home Base are shining the bright light of hope where before there was none, and changing the landscape of care for the 21st century warrior and military family.
“At Home Base, we are fortunate to have a team of world-class experts in every relevant discipline,” explained Petersen. “Our team-based, interdisciplinary approach to care gives the best chance to achieve a successful treatment outcome.”