Of the 190,000 military women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, 20 percent of them will likely develop post-traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD) a debilitating, life-threatening anxiety disorder. With women returning from combat deployments in greater numbers than ever before in U.S. history, the Department of Veteran Affairs is scrambling to meet a need whose scope is still unknown.
Boston University professors are among the lead investigators of current research being conducted at the VA’s National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:
- Dr. Terence Keane, professor of psychiatry and director of the Behavioral Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD, developed many of today’s most widely used PTSD assessment tools.
- Dr. Patricia Resick, a professor of psychiatry and psychology and director of the Women’s Health Services Division of the National Center for PTSD, is researching why women develop PTSD at more than twice the rate of men. She also developed cognitive processing therapy (CPT), a dramatically successful treatment for rape victims and battered women.
- Amy Street, an assistant professor in psychiatry, leads a VA support team devoted to military sexual trauma (MST). 20% of women report experiencing MST, compared with 1% of men.
- Suzanne Pineles, an assistant professor or psychiatry and clinical coordinator of the VA’s Women’s Stress Disorder Treatment Team, is exploring the possibility that women may have a biological susceptibility to PTSD.
Read the full article in the Fall 2008 issue of Bostonia.