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Am J Psychiatry. 1992 May;149(5):676-9.

Symptom responses of female Vietnam veterans to Operation Desert Storm.

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Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Boston, MA 02130.

Erratum in

  • Am J Psychiatry 1992 Aug;149(8):1129.



This study examined the status of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a cohort of women after the onset of Operation Desert Storm.


Seventy-six non-treatment-seeking Vietnam veterans were obtained from lists of those who recently had participated in other research projects conducted at the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Before the onset of Operation Desert Storm, subjects had completed a set of psychometrically valid instruments measuring general psychological symptoms and PTSD symptoms (e.g., SCL-90-R, Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder). On the basis of the latter scale, subjects were divided into groups with and without PTSD symptoms. At the height of the military conflict, subjects were recontacted and asked to complete the SCL-90-R and the Veterans Update Form, a measure assessing changes in PTSD symptoms.


Multivariate analyses indicated that while most female Vietnam veterans experienced some intensification of stress-related symptoms during Operation Desert Storm, those who had previously reported high levels of PTSD were significantly more susceptible to greater distress.


Results of this survey indicate that female Vietnam veterans with prior wartime exposure are an at-risk population for the intensification of stress symptoms after the recurrence of a military conflict.

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