Friday, July 15, 2016

EXPERIMENTAL REPORT: Driving difficulties among military veterans: clinical needs and current intervention status

CITATION: Possis, Elizabeth, Thao Bui, Margaret Gavian, Jennie Leskela, Effie Linardatos, Jennifer Loughlin, and Thad Strom. "Driving difficulties among military veterans: clinical needs and current intervention status." Military medicine 179, no. 6 (2014): 633-639.

 ABSTRACT: Military personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan often develop mental health difficulties, which may manifest as problematic driving behavior. Veterans may be more likely to engage in risky driving and to subsequently be involved in motor vehicle accidents and fatalities. This article reviews literature on driving difficulties among military veterans and evaluates available research on the potential pathways that underlie risky driving behavior. Current interventions for problematic driving behaviors are considered, and the necessity of modifying these interventions to address the unique difficulties encountered by military veterans is highlighted. The review concludes with a discussion of clinical implications of these findings and identification of possible avenues for future research and intervention.

MY TAKE ON IT: This review identifies fear- or anxiety-related behaviors as a cause of unsafe driving behaviors in military veterans. This anxiety can be expressed in risky responses like drunk-driving and road rage. It may also be expressed as classic phobic behavior like avoiding highways and other situations perceived as dangerous. The recommended treatment for driving phobia is cognitive-behavioral therapy and counter-conditioning, although the authors note that their effectiveness specifically with veterans is not well studied.

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