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Hall KS, Morey MC, Beckham JC, Bosworth HB, Pebole MM, Pieper CF, Sloane R. The Warrior Wellness Study: A Randomized Controlled Exercise Trial for Older Veterans with PTSD. Translational journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. 2018 Mar 15; 3(6):43-51.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects up to 30% of military veterans. Older veterans, many of whom have lived with PTSD symptoms for several decades, report a number of negative health outcomes. Despite the demonstrated benefits of regular exercise on physical and psychological health, no studies have explored the impact of exercise in older veterans with PTSD. This paper describes the development, design, and implementation of the Warrior Wellness exercise pilot study for older veterans with PTSD. Veterans aged 60 with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) diagnosis of PTSD will be recruited and randomized to (a) Warrior Wellness, a 12-week supervised, facility-based exercise intervention, or (b) usual care for 12 weeks. Warrior Wellness is a theory- and evidence-based behavioral intervention that involves 3 sessions per week of multi-component exercise training that targets strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility. Warrior Wellness focuses on satisfaction with outcomes, self-efficacy, self-monitoring, and autonomy. Factors associated with program adherence, defined as the number of sessions attended during the 12 weeks, will be explored. Primary outcomes include PTSD symptoms and cardiovascular endurance, assessed at baseline and 12 weeks. Compared to those in usual care, it is hypothesized that those in the Warrior Wellness condition will improve on these efficacy outcomes. The Warrior Wellness study will provide evidence on whether a short-term exercise intervention is feasible, acceptable, and effective among older veterans with PTSD, and explore factors associated with program adherence. ClinicalTrials.gov : NCT02295995.