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Complementary and Integrative Health

Association of Complementary and Integrative Health Interventions with Opioid Use among Veterans with Musculoskeletal Disorders and PTSD

by Joseph Goulet, PhD, MS
Seminar date: 3/16/2023

Description: PTSD is a leading mental health diagnosis in the VA, which also frequently co-occurs with pain diagnoses. Veterans with both pain and PTSD often report significantly greater pain severity, psychological distress and increased risk of receiving opioids, high-risk opioid use, and adverse outcomes, suggesting possible shared vulnerability and a mutual maintenance mechanism. However, several CIH interventions have been used in the VHA as therapy for both pain and PTSD, including acupuncture, massage, meditation and yoga, with evidence for a positive effects on PTSD symptoms. Therefore, delineation of CIH effects on reducing opioid prescriptions in the context of chronic pain and PTSD may have broader clinical implications for improving both chronic pain management and mental health services in the VHA primary care setting.

Target audience: Mental health and complimentary health providers

View archived session video:

DOWNLOAD: PDF handout | Audio only (mp3) | transcript

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