Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Cynthia Fletcher


An increasing number of veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has led to an increased demand for treatment within the Veteran Affairs health care system. Presently, veterans diagnosed with PTSD receive psychotropic medications and intermittent therapy sessions. Nurses are challenged to educate veterans about other health care issues based on verbalized side effects from prescribed PTSD medications limiting veterans’ ability to focus. Identifying alternative treatment options may improve treatment choices, reduce side effects, and promote positive outcomes for veterans with PTSD. This systematic review provided evidence-based practice information by addressing whether alternative therapy such as biofeedback would improve the therapeutic response and reduce the need for psychotropic medications. The Iowa model was used to guide the study. A critical review of the literature included 15 studies deemed admissible based on the Melnyk pyramid. Thirteen of the studies indicated positive outcomes for PTSD using biofeedback options as forms of therapy. No studies addressed the effectiveness of biofeedback therapy for reducing the need for psychotropic medications. One study indicated that when complementary and alternative medicine therapies were used to augment pharmacotherapy options, treatment compliance improved. Control studies are recommended to evaluate the immediate and long-term effects of biofeedback therapy to improve individual and adjunctive therapies for veterans with PTSD.