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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 747694, 23 pages
Review Article

A Systematic Review of Biopsychosocial Training Programs for the Self-Management of Emotional Stress: Potential Applications for the Military

1Samueli Institute, 1737 King Street, Suite 600, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
2Samueli Institute, 2101 East Coast Highway, Suite 300, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625, USA
3Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, 8901 Wisconsin Avenue, Building 8, Room 5106, Bethesda, MD 20889, USA

Received 10 May 2013; Revised 26 June 2013; Accepted 22 July 2013

Academic Editor: Tobias Esch

Copyright © 2013 Cindy Crawford et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Combat-exposed troops and their family members are at risk for stress reactions and related disorders. Multimodal biopsychosocial training programs incorporating complementary and alternative self-management techniques have the potential to reduce stress-related symptoms and dysfunction. Such training can preempt or attenuate the posttraumatic stress response and may be effectively incorporated into the training cycle for deploying and redeploying troops and their families. A large systematic review was conducted to survey the literature on multimodal training programs for the self-management of emotional stress. This report is an overview of the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) identified in this systematic review. Select programs such as mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Cognitive Behavioral Stress Management, Autogenic Training, Relaxation Response Training, and other meditation and mind-body skills practices are highlighted, and the feasibility of their implementation within military settings is addressed.