IDF to use computerized training to reduce risk of PTSD


( The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are planning incorporate an Israeli-designed computerized training program that can prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in soldiers.

The emblem of the Israel Defense Forces. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The system, developed by researchers at Tel Aviv University, the IDF Medical Corps and led by Prof. Yair Bar-Haim, takes soldiers through computerized training sessions that can change how the soldier processes trauma in the brain.

Soldiers must identify a specific symbol on the screen while at the same time being presented with either neutral and threatening faces or words on the same screen. Training includes four, 10-minute sessions over the course of one month.

Researchers measured the success of the computerized training program by studying soldiers who went through the training before and after the 2014 Gaza War. Those who had undergone the training prior to the war were 70 percent less likely to develop PTSD.

The results of the study were published on Tuesday in Psychological Medicine. The United States Army is also studying the research to consider using the training as well.

Posted on July 7, 2016 .