Back to Top Skip to main content

Doctors use cutting-edge research at Navy hospital

Chad Rodarmer, traumatic brain injury clinic program manager, demonstrates tracking a patient's eye movement at Naval Medical Center San Diego, California. (DoD photo by EJ Hersom) Chad Rodarmer, traumatic brain injury clinic program manager, demonstrates tracking a patient's eye movement at Naval Medical Center San Diego, California. (DoD photo by EJ Hersom)

Recommended Content:

Technology | Warrior Care | Traumatic Brain Injury

WASHINGTON — A Defense Department study on the benefits of surfing for patients with post-traumatic stress. A clinical tracking tool used to manage patient care. An advanced electroencephalogram and eye tracker.

The traumatic brain injury clinic at Naval Medical Center San Diego and the Naval Health Research Center at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego are developing and using cutting-edge research to better help service members, their family members and retirees.

At the research center, Kristen Walter is conducting DoD's first research study of its kind on the psychological and physical effects of a surf therapy program for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues. Almost 70 active duty and reserve component patients from all service branches, primarily the Marine Corps and the Navy, participated in the study.

“Initial results suggest that both PTSD and depression symptoms improve for those affected with the disorders,” Walter said. “We’ve also found our strongest effects are improvements in positive effect and decreases in negative effect. We assess individuals before and after each surf therapy session.”

After this first study, she added, she and her team will look into not only the effects not only of surfing therapy, but also of hiking and other recreational therapies that would be accessible for more patients. She said she has personally noticed the change in the patients.

Sense of Community

“There’s definitely a sense of community here in addition to the surf therapy," she added. “It improves mood, makes people feel better -- more connected to the environment and also to other people.”

Patients typically undergo standard psychotherapies for psychological disorders, but recreational outlets offer them an alternative, Walter said.

“Some people don’t benefit from our standard treatment," she explained. "Getting people actively engaged in their environment, doing things that matter to them -- that’s incredibly important for mental and physical health. It’s really important to study those effects.”

The team designed the algorithm for the clinical tracking tool with Navy Seal patients because of the Seals’ high operations tempo, said Dr. Lars Hungerford, senior clinical research director for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, which oversees the research at the TBI clinic.

“We created an algorithm and a tool so that we can screen them while they’re still overseas so we’ll know how many people we’ll need to see [and] get them set up so that when they hit the ground here, they’re all set up and running. We can just move on from there,” he said.

On the Same Page

While a patient is undergoing treatment at the hospital, Hungerford said, all of the different specialists who see the patient will put in their notes and appointments and see the patient’s goals so that everyone is on the same page.

“For example, when we first see a patient, we do an intake, meet as a team and come up with a treatment plan for what that person needs," he said. “They need occupational therapy, speech, neuropysch -- that gets put into the referral and gets kicked over to the individual providers, and then they write up their notes and we track all of their symptoms in the system.

Coordinating Care

“We see they have a headache goal,” he continued. “According to the tracking system, we’ve met, and we’re about halfway through the headache goal, but now they’re complaining more about memory problems, so things might shift as we go along. You can capture that quickly by looking at this system, and [all of the providers] can communicate and coordinate care.”

The eye tracker is used to measure saccade response, or reaction time and speed of response, Hungerford said. The new wireless EEG prototype is portable and doesn’t require liquid or gel.

“With the old EEGs, you had to put on a lot of gel, and patients left with a goopy head and had to go home and take a shower,” he said. “With this prototype, we can apply it within a few minutes and get a nice reading of the EEG waves. When the sensors touch skin, they don’t have to go through hair. They’re flat for comfort and don’t have prongs. It’s advanced technology.”

The new fusion study is using both the eye tracking and EEG at the same time. “That’s probably something that hasn’t been done,” Hungerford said. Looking at the different modalities that diagnose TBIs and comparing what the eyes are doing to what the brain is doing to what the MRI reveals combine to achieve a better understanding of what is going on with the patients, he added.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Wounded Warrior Policy Review

Congressional Testimony
8/23/2019

H.R. 5515, NDAA Conference Report for FY 2019, 115-874, Sec. 717

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Special Needs Program Management Information System (SNPMIS)

Fact Sheet
8/15/2019

SNPMIS documents and reports on services provided to TRICARE patients with special needs.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Solution Delivery Division

Real Warriors campaign breaks barriers to psychological health care

Article
8/14/2019
The Real Warriors Campaign member engages with a service member at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy photo)

Real Warriors has connected with more than three million people in the past decade

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

DHA IPM 18-007: Service Delivery Management Program

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Interim Procedures Memorandum (DHA-IPM), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (e): - Establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures for implementing and managing high quality information technology (IT) services by the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Deputy Assistant Director Information Operations (DAD IO/J-6), Military Health System (MHS). The DHA Service Delivery Management program provides customers requesting IT services from the DAD IO/J-6 or Defense Information Systems Agency service catalogs with an on-demand, automated system that provides a single-entry point to submit service requests. The automated system enables DAD IO/J-6 to align business needs and use repeatable and scalable processes to holistically track, manage, and report on customer submitted requests for IT services from submission to fulfillment. - Is binding on DoD Components and supports the Director’s, DHA, responsibility to develop appropriate management models to maximize efficiencies in the activities carried out by the DHA. - This DHA-IPM is effective immediately; it will be converted into a DHA-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI). This DHA-IPM will expire effective 12 months from the date of issue.

  • Identification #: 18-007
  • Date: 8/7/2019
  • Type: DHA Interim Procedures Memorandum
  • Topics: Technology

DoD Compensation and Benefits Handbook for Wounded, Ill, and/or Injured Service Members

Article
8/6/2019
Joint Service Color Guard (DoD photo)

The 2019 edition includes changes to DoD disability compensation, TRICARE health plans, education benefits, and more

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Positive attitude, social support may promote TBI/PTSD resilience

Article
7/23/2019
Navy Lt. Cmdr. John Derenne, a psychiatrist at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, discusses mental health and resiliency at the hospital’s Behavioral Health Clinic. Derenne, a native of Orange, California, says, “Mental health challenges should not be hidden or ignored; seeking help early is a sign of strength. Just like physical fitness, good mental health is integral to your well-being and mission readiness.” (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

Psychological experiences prior to an injury may play a role in recovery

Recommended Content:

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Traumatic Brain Injury

DoD Compensation and Benefits Handbook

Publication
7/16/2019

The purpose of this handbook is to provide Service members and their support networks with a reference guide to answer some of the most pressing questions that arise for wounded, ill, and/or injured Service members.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | DoD Compensation and Benefits Handbook

Warm Handoff for Transitioning Servicemembers Suffering from PTSD and TBI

Congressional Testimony
7/8/2019

S. 2987, SASC Report for FY 2019, 115-262, Pg. 203-204

Recommended Content:

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Traumatic Brain Injury

New clinical recommendations on cognitive rehabilitation for TBI released

Article
6/24/2019
Dr. Gregory Johnson (right), Tripler Concussion Clinic medical director, has Army Spc. Andrew Karamatic, Department of Medicine combat medic, follow his finger with his eyes during a neurologic exam at Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

Cognitive rehabilitation focuses on improving thinking and communication skills

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Traumatic Brain Injury | Mental Wellness

DHA PI 3201.05: Technology Transfer (T2) Program

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI) based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (t), establishes responsibilities, procedures, and guidance for the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) T2 program.

  • Identification #: 3201.05
  • Date: 6/20/2019
  • Type: DHA Procedural Instruction
  • Topics: Technology

Nutrition Management Information System (NMIS)

Fact Sheet
6/19/2019

NMIS is a fully integrated nutrition management system supporting military readiness and the war fighter worldwide.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Solution Delivery Division

Defense Occupational and Environmental Health Readiness System – Hearing Conservation (DOEHRS-HC)

Fact Sheet
6/17/2019

The Defense Occupational and Environmental Health Readiness System – Hearing Conservation (DOEHRS-HC) is an information system designed to support personal auditory readiness and help prevent hearing loss through early detection.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Hearing Loss | Solution Delivery Division

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

Congressional Testimony
6/13/2019

H.R. 5515 HASC Report for FY 2019 115-676, Pg. 128

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury

Military Health System (MHS) Population Health Portal (PHP)

Fact Sheet
6/11/2019

Military Health System (MHS) Population Health Portal (PHP) Fact Sheet

Recommended Content:

Technology | Solution Delivery Division

Coding and Compliance Editor (CCE)

Fact Sheet
6/11/2019

CCE supports the Department of Defense efforts to improve coding accuracy and reimbursements for inpatient and outpatient services.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Solution Delivery Division
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 18

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing; Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.