DCoE Real Warriors Campaign: Understanding and Using Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines
The Real Warriors Campaign is a multimedia public awareness campaign designed to encourage help-seeking behavior among service members, veterans and military families coping with invisible wounds. Launched by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) in 2009, the campaign is an integral part of the Defense Department’s overall effort to encourage warriors and families to seek appropriate care and support for psychological health concerns.
There is an increased focus on providing evidence-based care in both the military and civilian health care systems. Since 1998, the Defense Department (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have worked together to develop CPGs for treating psychological and physical health concerns. The departments’ working groups create the guidelines based, in part, on the readiness needs of service members and veterans.
The Institute of Medicine defines clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) as “statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care that are informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options.”
CPGs create consistency of care. They can support provider and patient decisions about appropriate care for specific concerns but should not replace a provider’s best judgment.
Potential Benefits for Health Professionals
CPG use can lead to a number of advantages that positively affect both the providers and patients. If implemented correctly, CPGs can:
- Improve quality of clinical decisions and care
- Offer clear recommendations for providers
- Promote efficient use of resources
- Streamline access to resources