Military Veterans Health

Authored by: Ranak Trivedi , Alaina Mori

Handbook of Health Psychology

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138052819
eBook ISBN: 9781315167534
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315167534-38

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Abstract

One of out every 17 people in the United States identifies as a military veteran. Military veterans face multiple medical and mental health conditions as a direct result of their military service. Military combat may expose them to higher rates of medical illnesses, including traumatic injuries (e.g., spinal cord injury), chronic illnesses of aging (e.g., diabetes), and psychiatric illnesses, compared to the U.S. population. The high prevalence of both medical and psychiatric illnesses lends itself to the clinical and research expertise of health psychologists. This chapter discusses the unique background of military veterans, and describes the current state of knowledge regarding the epidemiology of common medical and psychiatric conditions. The chapter reviews programmatic changes made by the Veterans Health Administration to address these unique needs, and highlights programs of most relevance to health psychologists. Finally, the chapter discusses current gaps in care and opportunities of growth in the care of military veterans.

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