A systematic review of the psychosocial impact of emotional numbing in US combat veterans

Donna L. Schuman, John C Bricout, H. Leona Peterson, Sheila Barnhart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Context: Previous studies have linked posttraumatic emotional numbing symptoms in US combat veterans with an adverse impact in multiple important life domains. Objectives: We updated and evaluated the evidence examining the psychosocial impact of combat-related emotional numbing, including ethnoracial and gender differences. Method: We reviewed 1,209 articles published betwen January 2012 and 2018 and selected 24 studies for inclusion. We assessed the overall study quality as fair using a national quality assessment tool. Results: Studies found emotional numbing to wield adverse effects in the areas of symptom nonimprovement, mental health difficulties, increased service utilization, poor relationship functioning, reduced quality of life, substance use disorders, suicidality, and aggression/violence. We also found evidence of ethnoracial and gender differences in veterans’ posttraumatic stress disorder-related emotional numbing symptoms. Conclusion: Clinicians should incorporate findings on emotional numbing into assessment, treatment planning, and monitoring, to improve treatment retention and psychosocial outcomes. Implications for ethnoracial and gender differences require further exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-663
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of clinical psychology
Volume75
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

Fingerprint

Veterans
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Aggression
Violence
Substance-Related Disorders
Mental Health
Quality of Life
Therapeutics
Systematic Review
Emotion
Gender Differences

Keywords

  • emotional numbing
  • military
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • systematic review
  • veteran

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review

Cite this

A systematic review of the psychosocial impact of emotional numbing in US combat veterans. / Schuman, Donna L.; Bricout, John C; Peterson, H. Leona; Barnhart, Sheila.

In: Journal of clinical psychology, Vol. 75, No. 4, 01.04.2019, p. 644-663.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Schuman, Donna L. ; Bricout, John C ; Peterson, H. Leona ; Barnhart, Sheila. / A systematic review of the psychosocial impact of emotional numbing in US combat veterans. In: Journal of clinical psychology. 2019 ; Vol. 75, No. 4. pp. 644-663.
@article{6e057b9ca4d947c981d4aefca5e40d45,
title = "A systematic review of the psychosocial impact of emotional numbing in US combat veterans",
abstract = "Context: Previous studies have linked posttraumatic emotional numbing symptoms in US combat veterans with an adverse impact in multiple important life domains. Objectives: We updated and evaluated the evidence examining the psychosocial impact of combat-related emotional numbing, including ethnoracial and gender differences. Method: We reviewed 1,209 articles published betwen January 2012 and 2018 and selected 24 studies for inclusion. We assessed the overall study quality as fair using a national quality assessment tool. Results: Studies found emotional numbing to wield adverse effects in the areas of symptom nonimprovement, mental health difficulties, increased service utilization, poor relationship functioning, reduced quality of life, substance use disorders, suicidality, and aggression/violence. We also found evidence of ethnoracial and gender differences in veterans’ posttraumatic stress disorder-related emotional numbing symptoms. Conclusion: Clinicians should incorporate findings on emotional numbing into assessment, treatment planning, and monitoring, to improve treatment retention and psychosocial outcomes. Implications for ethnoracial and gender differences require further exploration.",
keywords = "emotional numbing, military, posttraumatic stress disorder, systematic review, veteran",
author = "Schuman, {Donna L.} and Bricout, {John C} and Peterson, {H. Leona} and Sheila Barnhart",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/jclp.22732",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "75",
pages = "644--663",
journal = "Journal of Clinical Psychology",
issn = "0021-9762",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A systematic review of the psychosocial impact of emotional numbing in US combat veterans

AU - Schuman, Donna L.

AU - Bricout, John C

AU - Peterson, H. Leona

AU - Barnhart, Sheila

PY - 2019/4/1

Y1 - 2019/4/1

N2 - Context: Previous studies have linked posttraumatic emotional numbing symptoms in US combat veterans with an adverse impact in multiple important life domains. Objectives: We updated and evaluated the evidence examining the psychosocial impact of combat-related emotional numbing, including ethnoracial and gender differences. Method: We reviewed 1,209 articles published betwen January 2012 and 2018 and selected 24 studies for inclusion. We assessed the overall study quality as fair using a national quality assessment tool. Results: Studies found emotional numbing to wield adverse effects in the areas of symptom nonimprovement, mental health difficulties, increased service utilization, poor relationship functioning, reduced quality of life, substance use disorders, suicidality, and aggression/violence. We also found evidence of ethnoracial and gender differences in veterans’ posttraumatic stress disorder-related emotional numbing symptoms. Conclusion: Clinicians should incorporate findings on emotional numbing into assessment, treatment planning, and monitoring, to improve treatment retention and psychosocial outcomes. Implications for ethnoracial and gender differences require further exploration.

AB - Context: Previous studies have linked posttraumatic emotional numbing symptoms in US combat veterans with an adverse impact in multiple important life domains. Objectives: We updated and evaluated the evidence examining the psychosocial impact of combat-related emotional numbing, including ethnoracial and gender differences. Method: We reviewed 1,209 articles published betwen January 2012 and 2018 and selected 24 studies for inclusion. We assessed the overall study quality as fair using a national quality assessment tool. Results: Studies found emotional numbing to wield adverse effects in the areas of symptom nonimprovement, mental health difficulties, increased service utilization, poor relationship functioning, reduced quality of life, substance use disorders, suicidality, and aggression/violence. We also found evidence of ethnoracial and gender differences in veterans’ posttraumatic stress disorder-related emotional numbing symptoms. Conclusion: Clinicians should incorporate findings on emotional numbing into assessment, treatment planning, and monitoring, to improve treatment retention and psychosocial outcomes. Implications for ethnoracial and gender differences require further exploration.

KW - emotional numbing

KW - military

KW - posttraumatic stress disorder

KW - systematic review

KW - veteran

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85059252408&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85059252408&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/jclp.22732

DO - 10.1002/jclp.22732

M3 - Review article

VL - 75

SP - 644

EP - 663

JO - Journal of Clinical Psychology

JF - Journal of Clinical Psychology

SN - 0021-9762

IS - 4

ER -