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J Rehabil Res Dev. 2007;44(2):179-94.

Pain and combat injuries in soldiers returning from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom: implications for research and practice.

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  • 1James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program, 2CW, 13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.


Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) have resulted in a growing number of seriously injured soldiers who are evacuated to the United States for comprehensive medical care. Trauma-related pain is an almost universal problem among these war-injured soldiers, and several military and Department of Veterans Affairs initiatives have been implemented to enhance pain care across the continuum of medical services. This article describes several innovative approaches for improving the pain care provided to OEF and OIF military personnel during acute stabilization, transport, medical-surgical treatment, and rehabilitation and presents summary data characterizing the soldiers, pain management services provided, and associated outcomes. We also identify some of the pain assessment, classification, and treatment challenges emerging from work with this population and provide recommendations for future research and practice priorities.

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