Rehabilitative care of war-related health concerns

J Occup Environ Med. 2000 Apr;42(4):385-90. doi: 10.1097/00043764-200004000-00011.


The objective of this study was to pilot the effectiveness of a 3-week rehabilitative intervention that used medical review, graded exercise, education on Gulf War exposures, active coping, and nutrition to improve disability and related distress for Gulf War veterans with persistent symptoms. One hundred and nine veterans were assessed at program entry and exit and at 1 and 3 months after program completion. Outcomes were physical symptoms, quality of life, physical health concern, and psychosocial distress--contrasted across time and demographic groups. After treatment, veterans showed modest and global improvements; women were more likely than men to show improvement. The finding that Gulf War veterans who completed specialized rehabilitative management experienced modest, short-term improvements is encouraging, given that veterans of the conflict remain concerned about their future health. Controlled studies are needed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Persian Gulf Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Persian Gulf Syndrome / rehabilitation*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Veterans / statistics & numerical data*