Before asking personal questions, gain permission to discuss their experience as a veteran.  Ask questions, such as:4

●        “Would it be alright if I talk to you about your military experience?”

●        “Would you mind if we discuss your time in the military?”

After gaining permission, gather all pertinent information needed to develop a personalized plan.  An effective approach often used to handle such situations is the biopsychosocial model. This method analyzes a patient’s biological, psychological, and social history as a whole to then better understand their overall health.5

Begin with questions related to their biological or physical history. This can be done by asking a series of questions related to their time in the military, such as:4

●        “Have you experienced any physical injuries while in the military?”

●        “Were you ever exposed to any chemicals or pollution while in the military?”

Follow up with questions such as:4

●         “How long were you exposed?”

●        “What treatment did you receive?”

Understanding a veteran’s history is an important first step in understanding his or her potential psychological conditions.

When applying the biopsychosocial model to veterans, emphasis should be placed on the psychological and social aspects. These elements play major roles in determining potential conditions affecting veterans which may be difficult to diagnose without a thorough evaluation involving focused questions.  For example, when trying to determine a veteran’s risk for PTSD, ask questions such as:4

●        “What memorable events stick out in your mind from your time in the military?”

Follow up with questions such as:4

●        “How did this event affect you?”

●        “Are these events causing you any stress or concern?”