Send to

Choose Destination
J Altern Complement Med. 2019 Mar;25(S1):S147-S152. doi: 10.1089/acm.2018.0424.

Evaluation of an Integrative Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment Program.

Author information

1 Goverment and Public Services, Deloitte Consulting LLP, Los Angeles, CA.
2 Military Health Research, Henry M. Jackson Foundation for Advancement of Military Medicine, Bethesda, MD.
3 RAND Health, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA.
4 Private Practice, Beverly Hills, CA.
5 Biostatistics, Becton Dickinson, Mclean, VA.
6 United States Navy, 8th Marine Regiment, 2d Marine Division; Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC.



Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and combat-related stress can be refractory, pervasive, and have a devastating impact on those affected, their families, and society at large. Challenges dealing with symptoms may in turn make a servicemember more susceptible to problems, including alcohol abuse, interpersonal conflict, and occupational problems. An effective treatment strategy will address multifactorial issues by using a holistic multimodal approach. Back on Track is an intensive outpatient program utilizing a holistic philosophy and multimodal treatments to provide a whole systems approach for the treatment of combat-related stress reactions and PTSD in active duty servicemembers.


An explanatory, sequential, mixed-methods program evaluation was conducted to assess the effectiveness of a PTSD and combat stress treatment program. Quantitative outcomes were collected and analyzed on 595 participants at pre- and postinterventions and 6-week follow-up and qualitative data were gathered through participant interviews.


The manualized program uses a multimodal, psychoeducational group therapy format with a holistic approach for treating combat stress, increasing resiliency, and assisting with reintegration. Rotating providers visit from other programs and services to deliver content in bio-psycho-social-spiritual domains, including didactic lectures on mindfulness and the relaxation response and daily sessions of yoga nidra and meditation.


The primary outcome measure was PTSD symptom severity assessed with the PTSD Checklist-Military Version (PCL-M). Secondary outcomes included self-efficacy, knowledge, use, and satisfaction. Quantitative data were contextualized with interview data.


Results demonstrated a highly statistically significant effect of the program when comparing within-subject PCL-M scores before and after program participation, signed rank S (N = 595) = -47,367, p < 0.001. This translates to a moderate effect size, Cohen's d (N = 595) = -0.55, 95% confidence interval = -0.62 to -0.47, and a mean decrease of 7 points on the PCL-M at postintervention, demonstrating response to treatment. There were significant increases in knowledge and self-efficacy and high levels of satisfaction with the program overall, content, materials, and delivery.


The treatment program has served ∼800 servicemembers since inception and has since expanded to five installations. The provision of whole systems care where the approach is holistic, multimodal, and multidisciplinary may be a way forward for the successful treatment of PTSD and other debilitating behavioral health conditions in military contexts and beyond.


PTSD; integrative medicine; military health; program evaluation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center