DoD, VA Ask for Veterans' Comments on Clinical Practice Guidelines

With most Gulf War veterans now either retired or separated from military service, some individuals have expressed concern that the Specialized Care Center and the CCEP will be discontinued. This is not true. Today, the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs are institutionalizing the lessons of the Gulf War and are jointly taking steps to expand the clinical services available to deployed forces. The experiences after the Vietnam and Gulf Wars have shown that the post-deployment period is crucial for carrying out medical screening and evaluation and providing appropriate care for returning servicemembers.

Building on the lessons of the Gulf War, the DoD and VA are expanding existing clinical programs for post-deployment screening and evaluation. The Departments are developing clinical practice guidelines to assist health care providers in screening and evaluating service members with health concerns following deployment. Specific treatment guidelines are also being developed. Described as instruction books for physicians and patients, "clinical practice guidelines" provide clinically-driven assessments based on best medical practices and best available medical evidence.

These deployment health guidelines are currently in development, with pilot testing scheduled for summer of 2001. During this development phase, program managers are asking for veterans' input. To ensure your comments are considered, please write to charles.engel@amedd.army.mil by December 31, 2000. Your input is an important component of the planning process.

The guidelines are available on-line:

Section I: Table of Contents

Section II: Preface

Section III: Introduction

Section IV: Acknowledgements

Section V: Algorithms

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