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JAMA Revisited
August 4, 2015

Psychiatric Evaluation of Those Returning from Combat

JAMA. 2015;314(5):522. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.11902

Reports from overseas theaters indicate that the incidence of psychoneurotic manifestations induced by the physical and emotional stresses of war are frequent occurrences. In the theaters of operation various technics have been devised for the management of these cases with due regard for the severity of the illness and the difficulties of therapeutic endeavors under trying local situations. Oftentimes mere rest and reassurance restore to active duty the men with less severe reactions. Other more serious cases are rehabilitated for non-combat duty in the rear of the fighting lines in the theaters of operation. Still other cases are of such severity that return to this country is necessary. As the war goes on the occurrence of these cases will probably continue. There are also large numbers of men who have completed a prescribed tour of duty in the theaters of operation and who, pursuant to War Department policies, are rotated back to this country. A certain percentage of these men show evidences of persistent symptoms akin to those common in civilian psychoneurotic illness. It is clearly evident that the problem of the care of these men is a most important and pressing one and that our programs for this care will soon need to be fully developed.

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