Multidisciplinary treatment of persistent symptoms after Gulf War service

Mil Med. 1998 Apr;163(4):202-8.


Research suggests that individuals commonly describe persistent symptoms or syndromes after a war. After the Persian Gulf War, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense initiated registries and expedited health care for those with Gulf War-related health concerns. At Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Gulf War Health Center was created in mid-1994 to contribute a continuum of care for those with Gulf War-related health problems. The purpose of this report is to describe the Gulf War Health Center's Specialized Care Program, a 3-week intensive outpatient multidisciplinary treatment program for people with persistent, disabling Gulf War-related symptoms. The program uses an evidence-based model of multidisciplinary care employed at chronic pain centers internationally and shown to yield stable improvements in pain, mood, health care use, and return to work rates. A patient is described to illustrate how the program works. Finally, a Deployment Medicine Treatment Center is proposed, a multidisciplinary treatment center like the Specialized Care Program that would offer care to those with persistent, disabling symptoms after all future deployments.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Comprehensive Health Care
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team
  • Persian Gulf Syndrome / therapy*