Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 636–642

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Use of Psychiatric and Alcohol Related Services: The Effect of the 2004–2005 Florida Hurricane Seasons on Veterans

  • Kathryn A. Frahm
  • Scott D. Barnett
  • Lisa M. Brown
  • Edward J. Hickling
  • Ron Olney
  • Robert R. Campbell
  • William A. Lapcevic
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10597-012-9558-2

Cite this article as:
Frahm, K.A., Barnett, S.D., Brown, L.M. et al. Community Ment Health J (2013) 49: 636. doi:10.1007/s10597-012-9558-2

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to document preliminary findings of the association between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mental health service use, and alcohol related health visits among veterans following 2004–2005 Florida hurricane seasons. A retrospective review of the Veterans Health Administration Medical SAS Outpatient Dataset was conducted to identify veterans residing in Florida during the 2004–2005 hurricane seasons with a history of PTSD and/or PTSD and a substance use disorder. It was found that veterans with PTSD residing in counties affected by hurricanes demonstrated an immediate 28 % increase in use of mental health services following hurricane landfall versus veterans residing in non-hurricane affected counties (+28.0 vs. −6.5 %, p = 0.001). Additionally, veterans residing in affected counties were found to use more group psychotherapy treatment sessions overall (30.3 vs. 27.2 %, p = 0.001). Of note, veterans with PTSD experienced a −0.16 per month (p = 0.114) decrease in alcohol related visits following the 2004 hurricane season. These findings provide insight into the mental health needs of veterans with PTSD following a disaster and can inform delivery of services to veterans with PTSD and alcohol related issues in disaster prone areas.

Keywords

Veterans Disaster PTSD Substance use Psychiatric service use 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn A. Frahm
    • 1
  • Scott D. Barnett
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lisa M. Brown
    • 1
  • Edward J. Hickling
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ron Olney
    • 2
  • Robert R. Campbell
    • 2
  • William A. Lapcevic
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Aging Studies, College of Behavioral and Community SciencesUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.HSR&D/RR&D Research Center of ExcellenceJames A. Haley VA HospitalTampaUSA

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