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Former Prisoners of War VHI

Freed prisoner of war on crutches with escort

Clinicians can learn about the effects of physical torture, starvation, and psychological trauma former prisoners of war (POWs) experienced during captivity from the Veterans Health Initiative (VHI) study guide, American Ex-Prisoners of War (2.45 MB, PDF).

The study guide provides an overview of what captured soldiers experienced in the European, Pacific, Korean, and Vietnam conflicts and helps clinicians better understand the medical issues related to being a POW.

Sections include:

  • Camp life, nutrition, working conditions of POWs
  • Medical conditions associated with imprisonment
  • Psychiatric conditions that may occur
  • Presumptive service-connected disabilities

The guide is useful for VA and non-VA health care providers caring for Veteran patients. Veterans and the public also may be interested in the guide to learn more about symptoms and treatment.

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