Medical Care Needs of Returning Veterans with PTSD: Their Other Burden
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There has been considerable focus on the burden of mental illness (including post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD) in returning Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans, but little attention to the burden of medical illness in those with PTSD.
(1) Determine whether the burden of medical illness is higher in women and men OEF/OIF veterans with PTSD than in those with No Mental Health Conditions (MHC). (2) Identify conditions common in those with PTSD.
Cross-sectional study using existing databases (Fiscal Year 2006–2007).
Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients nationally.
All 90,558 OEF/OIF veterans using VHA outpatient care nationally, categorized into strata: PTSD, Stress-Related Disorders, Other MHCs, and No MHC.
(1) Count of medical conditions; (2) specific medical conditions (from ICD9 codes, using Agency for Health Research and Quality’s Clinical Classifications software framework).
The median number of medical conditions for women was 7.0 versus 4.5 for those with PTSD versus No MHC (p < 0.001), and for men was 5.0 versus 4.0 (p < 0.001). For PTSD patients, the most frequent conditions among women were lumbosacral spine disorders, headache, and lower extremity joint disorders, and among men were lumbosacral spine disorders, lower extremity joint disorders, and hearing problems. These high frequency conditions were more common in those with PTSD than in those with No MHC.
Burden of medical illness is greater in women and men OEF/OIF veteran VHA users with PTSD than in those with No MHC. Health delivery systems serving them should align clinical program development with their medical care needs.
- Medical Care Needs of Returning Veterans with PTSD: Their Other Burden
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 26, Issue 1 , pp 33-39
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- Print ISSN
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- stress disorders
- Afghan campaign 2001-
- Iraq War 2003-
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Center for Health Care Evaluation, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, 795 Willow Road (152-MPD), Menlo Park, CA, 94025, USA
- 2. Division of General Internal Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
- 3. Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
- 4. Center of Excellence in Women’s Health , VA Palo Alto Health Care System, 3801 Miranda Ave (111-A), Palo Alto, CA, 94304, USA
- 5. Department of Sociology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
- 6. National Center for PTSD, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, 795 Willow Road (152-MPD), Menlo Park, CA, 94025, USA