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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2000 Aug;188(8):496-504.

PTSD and utilization of medical treatment services among male Vietnam veterans.

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Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, VA Medical and Regional Office Center, White River Junction, Vermont 05009, USA.


This study investigated the effect of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on help-seeking for physical problems. Merging two large data sets resulted in a sample of 1773 male Vietnam veterans from white, black, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, and Japanese American ethnic groups. Predictors of utilization included PTSD, other axis I disorders, and substance abuse. In analyses that adjusted only for age, PTSD was related to greater utilization of recent and lifetime VA medical services, and with recent inpatient care from all sources. Further analysis showed that the increased utilization associated with PTSD was not merely due to the high comorbidity between PTSD and other axis I disorders. The uniqueness of the association between PTSD and medical utilization is discussed in terms of somatization and physical illness.

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