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Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2010;12(3). pii: PCC.09m00823. doi: 10.4088/PCC.09m00823blu.

Functional quality of life in full versus partial posttraumatic stress disorder among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Author information

  • 1Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and VISN 4 Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. lesgellis@gmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study assessed mental and health functioning in full versus partial posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among newly returning veterans from Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom [OIF]) and Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom [OEF]) who were referred by primary care providers for a behavioral health assessment and reported an emotional trauma.

METHOD:

Participants included OEF/OIF veterans receiving care in 2 veterans' affairs medical centers and affiliated community-based outpatient clinics who reported behavioral health issues to their primary care providers. All veterans underwent a clinical behavioral health assessment of Axis I disorders and functioning via telephone between June 2007 and April 2008. Functioning was measured using the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12). Those reporting a previous emotional trauma were subsequently assessed for PTSD using the PTSD Patient Checklist (PCL).

RESULTS:

The final sample (N=201) was 88.1% male with a mean age of 34.2 years (SD=10.1). Individuals with full PTSD (n=120, 59.7%) reported worse mental health functioning compared to those with partial PTSD (n=37, 18.4%). Individuals with partial PTSD reported worse mental health functioning scores than the trauma exposed-only group (n=44, 21.9%). Compared to national norms, patients with partial PTSD reported mental health functioning scores that were worse than 75% of individuals within a similar age range. After controlling for other psychiatric factors, there was no difference between partial PTSD and the trauma-only group.

CONCLUSION:

OEF/OIF veterans with partial PTSD referred for a behavioral health assessment may incur significant problems with functioning. These complaints may be better attributed to psychiatric comorbidity as opposed to symptoms specifically related to trauma.

PMID:
20944775
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC2947536
Free PMC Article
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