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Ready and Resilient: Post Deployment Health Assessment

Thursday March 20, 2014

What is it?

The Post Deployment Health Assessment (DD Form 2796) commonly known as the PDHA is the second in a series of deployment health assessments (DHAs) administered to Soldiers and Department of the Army (DA) Civilians during the deployment cycle. The PDHA is taken 30 days before or after redeployment and addresses physical injuries, environmental exposures and behavioral concerns that may have been sustained during the deployment.

Once a Soldier completes the DD Form 2796, he/she schedules a one-on-one appointment with a health care provider to discuss their responses in a confidential and private setting. During the confidential conversation, the Soldier is given the opportunity to discuss health concerns and may be referred to specialty care, treatment or rehabilitation services to treat identified health threats and/or physical injuries.

What has the Army done?

The Army has implemented several recent changes to the PDHA (DD Form 2796) to improve identification of medical threats Soldiers face during deployment. Some of the recent changes are:

  • ** Incorporated questions on women’s health symptoms
  • ** Modified Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) questions based on research findings to improve sensitivity, as well as obtain special characteristics such as number of related incidents, distance from blast, and loss of consciousness time to enhance providers’ ability to assess care needs
  • ** Added specific animal bite question and provider assessment to specifically address risk of rabies exposure

Why is this important to the Army?

  • ** The PDHA serves as a gateway to care upon redeployment for deployment health related injuries and behavioral concerns such as TBI, PTSD, physical injuries, environmental exposures, substance abuse and depression
  • ** Commanders rely on the PDHA as a diagnostic tool to improve unit medical readiness, address emerging health threats and prepare for future missions
  • ** The PDHA, along with the Pre-Deployment Health Assessment (Pre-DHA) and Post-Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA), is uniquely tailored to address health concerns during specific phases of the deployment cycle

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

In a collaborative effort between the Deployment Health Assessment Program (DHAP), Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) program, and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), the Army is promoting the importance of taking Deployment Cycle Resilience Training (DCRT), a tailored resilience training series that promotes life, performance and psychological skills for Soldiers, commanders and unit staff going through the deployment cycle.


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