Wounds of War II – Workshop Description


NATO Advanced Research Workshop:
Wounds of War –
Coping with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Returning Troops

Professor Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold, Ph.D., MBA has received funding from NATO to organize a three-day Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) entitled “Wounds of War: Coping with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Returning Troops”. The workshop is scheduled for 19-21 October 2009 at Hotel Amerika-Holzer, Klopeiner See, Südkärnten, Austria and will allow experts from across Europe and North America to meet and discuss the impact of war-related stress, particularly when it increases risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), on participants in current and past conflicts.

This Advanced Research Workshop is being convened to discuss the topic of increased PTSD in our service men and women. Research has shown that those who have served in both combat missions and peacekeeping operations are at an increased risk for PTSD. Research suggests that this may result from their “wounds of war”. Some wounds may be more “invisible”; such as depression, stress, and chronic pain, while others are more visibly apparent; such as physical disabilities. Whatever the wound, however, it seems they may all lead to an increased risk of PTSD.

This specialized workshop will explore five main criteria:

  1. Vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder: are certain types of people at higher risk for getting PTSD (background, ethnicity, childhood trauma, etc)?
  2. Diagnostic and Assessment Issues surrounding post-traumatic stress disorder: which methods are used to diagnose and assess the disorder?
  3. Preventing post-traumatic stress in soldiers: what ways can the military prepare soldiers so they don’t develop PTSD?
  4. Treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder: what are the latest treatment and therapy opportunities for soldiers after they have been diagnosed with PTSD?
  5. Post-traumatic stress disorder comorbid with other disorders: what are the symptoms and consequences associated with PTSD?

Our hope is that through this workshop, we can come to understand what programs are already in place for detection, assessment, prevention, and treatment. We can then learn from these existing plans and begin to formulate a more common set of best practices and guidelines which can be implemented throughout organizations in all our countries; having as our common goal to always seek to serve our service members more effectively.