About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Military and ... Released: June 20, 2014
    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the signature injuries of the U.S. conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. An estimated 8 percent of current and former service members deployed to these areas have a PTSD diagnosis. For these men and women, readjustment from combat zone deployments and reintegra¬tion into families and communities may be significantly hampered by chronic distress and disability in physical, psychological, social, and occupational functioning. A provision of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010 required the Secretary of the Department of Defense (DoD), in consultation with the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to commission an IOM study to assess PTSD treatment programs and ser¬vices in DoD and VA. The IOM report offers recommendations and guidance for improv¬ing processes and infrastructure to allow DoD and VA to respond more strategically and effectively to the increasing prevalence of PTSD among U.S. service members and veterans.
  • Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Readjustment ... Released: March 26, 2013
    The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been the longest sustained U.S. military operations since the Vietnam era, sending more than 2.2 million troops into battle, and resulting in more than 6,600 deaths and 48,000 injuries. While many service members return home relatively unscathed and report rewarding experiences, others return with varied complex health conditions and find that readjusting to life at home, reconnecting with family, finding work, or returning to school is an ongoing struggle. The IOM was asked to study veterans’ physical and mental health, as well as other readjustment needs. Following its phase one report, this report presents the IOM’s comprehensive assessment of the physical, psychological, social, and economic effects of deployment on service members, veterans, their families, and their communities.
  • Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Readjustment ... Released: March 26, 2013
    The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been the longest sustained U.S. military operations since the Vietnam era, sending more than 2.2 million troops into battle, and resulting in more than 6,600 deaths and 48,000 injuries. While many service members return home relatively unscathed and report rewarding experiences, others return with varied complex health conditions and find that readjusting to life at home, reconnecting with family, finding work, or returning to school is an ongoing struggle. The IOM was asked to study veterans’ physical and mental health, as well as other readjustment needs. Following its phase one report, this report presents the IOM’s comprehensive assessment of the physical, psychological, social, and economic effects of deployment on service members, veterans, their families, and their communities.
  • Substance Use Disorders in the US Armed Forces : Health ... Released: September 17, 2012
    Like many sectors of society, the U.S. military has a long history of alcohol and other drug misuse and abuse. In recent years, the face of the issue has been transformed by increasing rates of prescription drug abuse among service members. To better understand the current substance use problems within the U.S. military, the Department of Defense (DoD) asked the IOM to analyze policies and programs that pertain to prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders for active duty service members in all branches, members of the National Guard and Reserve, and military families. The IOM concludes that to deal with this public health crisis, the DoD will need to consistently implement evidence-based prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment services and take leadership for ensuring that these services expand and improve.
  • Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Military and ... Released: July 13, 2012
    An estimated 13 to 20 percent of United States service members who have fought in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001 suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), brought on by a specific traumatic event, including combat. As the U.S. reduces its military involvement in the Middle East, the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) anticipate that increasing numbers of returning veterans will need PTSD services. As a result, Congress asked the DoD, in consultation with the VA, to sponsor an IOM study to assess both departments’ PTSD treatment programs and services. This first of two mandated reports examines the some of the available prevention, screening, diagnostic, treatment, and rehabilitation programs and encourages further research that can help to improve PTSD care.
  • Preliminary Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans ... Released: March 31, 2010
    Nearly 1.9 million U.S. troops have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq since October 2001. Many service members and veterans face serious challenges in readjusting to normal life after returning home. This initial report presents findings on the most critical challenges, and lays out the blueprint for the second phase of the study to determine how best to meet the needs of returning troops and their families.
  • Provision of Mental Health Counseling Services under ... Released: February 12, 2010
    In this report, the IOM makes recommendations for permitting independent practice for mental health counselors treating patients within TRICARE—the DOD’s health care benefits program. This would change current policy, which requires all counselors to practice under a physician’s supervision without regard to their education, training, licensure or experience.
  • Use of Dietary Supplements by Military Personnel : Health and ... Released: June 09, 2008
    The use of dietary supplements has become increasingly popular among members of the military. While some supplements may provide benefits to health, others could carry adverse effects that might compromise the readiness and performance of service members. The U.S. Department of Defense, the Samueli Institute, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with additional support from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) review the use of dietary supplements by military personnel, recommending a framework to identify the need for management of dietary supplement use within the military, and developing an approach to report adverse health events.
  • Gulf War and Health: Volume 6. Physiologic, Psychologic, and ... Released: November 15, 2007
    This study comprehensively reviewed, evaluated, and summarized the peer-reviewed scientific and medical literature regarding the association between stress and long-term adverse health effects in Gulf War veterans, specifically the physiologic, psychologic, and psychosocial effects of stress.
  • Treatment of PTSD: An Assessment of The Evidence : Health ... Released: October 17, 2007
    At the request of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) undertook a systematic review of the PTSD literature. After nearly 2,800 abstracts were identified, the application of inclusion criteria narrowed the list down to 90 randomized clinical trials, 37 pharmacotherapy studies, and 53 psychotherapy studies. The principal finding of the committee is that the scientific evidence on treatment modalities for PTSD does not reach the level of certainty that would be desired for such a common and serious condition among veterans.