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Trauma Spectrum Disorders: The Role of Gender, Race, and Other Socioeconomic Factors

Meeting Summary
Bethesda, Maryland

Sponsored by:
Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE), Department of Defense (DOD)
National Institutes of Health
NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH)
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

In October 2008, the Department of Defense-Defense Centers of Excellence (DoD-DCoE), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) co-sponsored a meeting entitled, Trauma Spectrum Disorders: The Role of Gender, Race, and Other Socioeconomic Factors on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) participated in this meeting—the first such collaborative meeting among these federal agencies on this topic—along with the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and over 400 researchers and clinicians. Staff from the NIMH Women’s Program and Office for Special Populations helped plan the meeting. NIMH Director Thomas Insel, M.D. and NIMH Program Chief Farris Tuma, Sc.D., spoke on the topic of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), along with presentations from a number of NIMH grantees. The meeting reviewed existing science on trauma spectrum disorders related to military deployment, such as PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Speakers and discussants examined gender and other factors specific to: a) psychological health needs of populations exposed to high stress, traumatic events, and deployment; b) TBI; and, c) treatment outcomes. The conference underscored the need for improved evidence-based strategies to assess better and treat psychological health issues and TBI. Plans to continue this collaborative research effort among DoD-DCoE, NIH, and VA are underway.

For more information, please contact Kathleen O’Leary, M.S.W., 301-443-3945.