2011 HSR Impact Awardee

In this study, the RAND Corporation examined the prevalence and societal costs of post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, and traumatic brain injury and the programs and services to address them.

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Key findings from this comprehensive study of the mental health and cognitive needs of returning service members and veterans include: 

  • 18.5 percent of U.S. service members who returned from Afghanistan and Iraq had symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder or depression;
  • 19.5 percent reported experiencing a traumatic brain injury during deployment; 
  • Roughly half of those who needed treatment for a mental health problem had sought it, but only slightly more than half who received treatment got minimally adequate care; 
  • Analysis also showed that improving access to treatment supported by scientific evidence could be cost-effective and improve recovery.

Thorough dissemination of these findings helped educate policymakers, providers, veterans and their families; and RAND’s assessment ultimately altered the nation’s priorities for diagnosing and treating behavioral health conditions among returning service members.

The AcademyHealth Board of Directors created the HSR Impact Award to recognize research that has had a significant impact on health and health care. The award, which is supported by AcademyHealth, is intended to identify and promote examples of outstanding research that have been successfully translated into health policy, management, or clinical practice.