Episode 32 - Dr. Harold Kudler: Helping Veterans and Their Families Succeed: Current Research and Practice Guidelines in Management of Traumatic Stress

Monday, November 02, 2009, 9:44:58 AM

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In this wide-ranging conversation, Dr. Harold Kudler discusses his most recent work with veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. In an approachable manner, he relates his current research findings and project work to the current literature and emerging debates in the study of Traumatic Stress. He advocates moving beyond the narrow lens of PTSD in conceptualizing our thinking about Traumatic Stress, and gives practical suggestions about developing a community response for returning veterans and their families.

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Average Rating: 4.7 stars (6 listener reviews )

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Average Rating: 4stars  a strong argument, Monday, April 22, 2013

By Courtney A :

Dr. Kudler’s focus is on veteran PTSD. There is a heavy focus on the lack of effective treatment for veterans. Kudler states that only 50% of eligible veterans seek out services through the VA. This means that some people in need refuse services or may be seeking treatment somewhere else. Dr. Kudler is proposing that veterans services become community integrated with all physicians, including student health centers, so that help is more accessible
This idea seems so simple at its core, that one wonders why it is not already being done. More and more health systems are being integrated through technology. It seems that just the education piece is missing; education to both the physicians that would be servicing the vets and education to the public regarding PTSD.
Dr. Kudler spoke of vets living in rural areas. These ideas stood out to me. He states that the rural population is over represented in the veteran population, at 38%. Kudler states that people in rural areas are more likely to volunteer to help, but at the same time, are less likely to be the first to do something. This means that rural people are seeking treatment less than those in urban areas. This is an interesting phenonmenon that I have observed in being in rural areas.
Overall this was a different kind of approach to a revisited topic. It is clear that more research is needed to be able to better define PTSD and also to find more effective treatments.

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Average Rating: 5stars  fascinating insights, Thursday, July 22, 2010

By Caitlyn Lam :

Dr. Harold Kudler displays fascinating insights into some of the experiences of veterans. It is imperative to view circumstances from as many angles as possible, and Dr. Kudler's observation that many of the instances of suicide stem not only from the experience of trauma itself, but also from relational stressors, and the increased availability and desensitization to weapons.

Dr. Kudler's observation that federal programs as they have been implemented in the past do not appear to be as effective when working with veterans, as most are from rural areas, was also thought provoking. Cultural competence is key in working with individuals in any situation, and as such, it is important to create programming that will work for many different groups of people. Thankfully, research has been done, and programs are now being created and implemented to work with veterans from rural areas.

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Average Rating: 5stars  veterans and their families, Sunday, March 28, 2010

By Allison :

I enjoyed listening to this informative podcast. I have worker with veterans in residential and community settings so I found this information very educational. Dr Kudler talked about various issues related to veterans, trauma and services that we see when we work with them. I believe educating service providers in communities that may not be involved with the Veteran’s Administration is important. If 60% of these soldiers returning home seek services within their communities instead of the V.A they need to be educated in which service to provide for the most effective treatment approaches. I think it’s also important to engage veteran’s families into treatment so they can become aware of what their loved one may be experiencing. Integration of services and focusing on trauma can be an effective treatment approach.
I think more needs to be done to decrease the amount of soldiers committing suicide. It can be mandatory counseling for soldiers with preexisting symptoms or depression, suicide awareness/prevention and hotlines. I know from experience how devastating returning to war can be. My brother’s friend committed suicide a few years ago because he was scheduled to return to war. He just got married and fathered a baby and could not cope with leaving his new family and returning to war. As civilians we can not imagine what goes on over their and the type of trauma these soldiers endure. As social workers even if we don’t work with the V.A need to be aware of issues related to veterans/trauma and effective treatment approaches that will be most effective in treating veterans and their families.

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Average Rating: 5stars  the narrow lens of ptsd..., Wednesday, January 13, 2010

By Molly Corsi :

This writer learned an abundance of useful information in regards to how PTSD is perceived, and not fully understood a lot of the time.
I was especially suprised to hear how the suicide rates among military has caught up or exceeded the suicide rates of civilians, considering the rates were far different years ago (after Vietnam). Dr. Kudler explained this rate increase as having three components being trauma+life stress+young people. I found that to be incredibly informative because it explains that it is not just the trauma these soldiers experienced in war, their young age and life stresses at home when they return from war are considered causes as well.
Another informative point made by Dr. Kudler was the idea that the military has a over-representation of rural citizens due to their desire to help coming rom a small community. Also, the fact that these rural soldiers do not use Federal agencies because coming from a small town, they would rather utilize the services in their community since they are familiar with the providers, and the providers are familiar with them, making them feel more comfortable with the situation. Dr. Kudler provided statistics in regards to Vietnam veterans - 80% of the soldiers suffering from PTSD did not go to the VA, but 60% of them went elsewhere. I found that interesting and informative to know since I could be working in a rural area in the future.
The discussion on AHEC (Area Health Education Centers) was interesting as well. Dr. Kudler discussed the importance of AHEC because it promoted a collaborative effort between health care agencies, academic institutions, and other agencies to enhance and deliver effective services to the people who come to any one of these different agencies. As illustrated by Dr. Kudler, AHEC does not just give information, it builds systems because all systems (the person, their family, their community, etc) are affected by PTSD.

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Average Rating: 4stars  finally, someone says what needs to be said., Wednesday, January 13, 2010

By Adrienne :

Dr. Kudler’s provides a look at past and current research in a way that allows for listeners to see that helping veterans is not nearly as hard as one may think. He claims his work is motivated by wanting to help returning vets before their problems place them in institutions. He states that treating these soldiers goes back to the fundamentals of treatment. They are human beings, deserve respect, are experiencing emotions that we have seen before from past conflicts as well as requiring time to heal. Dr. Kudler breaks down the need for a mutli-modal approach to treating these individuals. With this he insists that research continue. We must find ways to make it work and then implement the findings.
He also talks about the increased suicide rates in the military. These rates used to be lower than civilian rates however due to the complexity of this war, things have gotten out of control. Dr. Kudler, advised society to not get caught up in the stats but rather be aware and proactive. If a soldier seems suicidal, get them help immediately.
Nevertheless, Dr. Kudler closes with an evaluation of future programs to help assist returning vets. He states that we must learn from Vietnam. Understanding that many vets will not seek treatment is important because this shows how pivotal it is for communities to reach out to these individuals. He also encourages VA hospitals to reach out to citizens and develop educational programs that explain military culture, who is being affected, who is involved, what they are feeling, what has happened to them, what are the diagnoses, what treatment options are available, and how to assess them, etc. Services should integrate to provide a one stop shot. In the end, Dr. Kudler re-enforces the fact that society has the resources, we just have to learn how to use them effectively.

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Average Rating: 5stars  very informative, Monday, November 16, 2009

By Anonymous :

Dr. Kudler explains the complexities of trauma in such a way that anyone can understand! It was entertaining and very educational.
I would like to hear more!
Thank You!

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