Employment Outcomes and PTSD Symptom Severity
- 1.1k Downloads
A diagnosis of chronic war-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been linked consistently to poor employment outcomes. This study investigates the relation further, analyzing how symptom severity correlates with work status, occupation type, and earnings. Study participants were male Vietnam veterans with severe or very severe PTSD who received treatment in the Department of Veterans Affairs system (N = 325). Veterans with more severe symptoms were more likely to work part-time or not at all. Among workers, more severe symptoms were weakly associated with having a sales or clerical position. Conditional on employment and occupation category, there was no significant relation between PTSD symptom level and earnings. Alternative PTSD symptom measures produced similar results. Our findings suggest that even modest reductions in PTSD symptoms may lead to employment gains, even if the overall symptom level remains severe.
Keywordsposttraumatic stress disorders employment income Veterans Veterans hospitals mental health services
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Blake, D. D., Weathers, F. W., Nagy, L. M., Kaloupek, D. G., Klauminzer, G., Charney, D. S., et al. (1990). A clinician rating scale for assessing current and lifetime PTSD: The CAPS-1. The Behavior Therapist, 18, 187–188.Google Scholar
- Bound, J., Schoenbaum, M., Stinebrickner, T., & Waidmann, T. (1998). The dynamic effects of health on the labor force transitions of older workers. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, no. w6777.Google Scholar
- Bound, J., & Waidmann, T. (2002). Accounting for recent declines in employment rates among working-aged men and women with disabilities. Journal of Human Resources, 37, 231– 250.Google Scholar
- Cohany, S. R. (1992). The Vietnam-era cohort: Employment and earnings. Monthly Labor Review, June, 3–15.Google Scholar
- Cook, J. A. (2003). Results of a multi-site clinical trials study of employment models for mental health consumers. Chicago, Ill.: University of Illinois at Chicago. Retrieved from http://www.psych.uic.edu/eidp (accessed Nov., 2003).
- Drebing, C. E., Rosenheck, R., & Penk, W. (2001). CWT National Survey: Summary of program director responses. West Haven, CT: New England Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, VA Connecticut Health Care System.Google Scholar
- Greene, W. H. (1993). Econometric analysis (2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Heckman, J. J. (1979). Sample selection bias as a specification error. Econometrica, 47, 153–161.Google Scholar
- Noble, J. H., Honberg, R. S., Hall, L. L., & Flynn, L. M. (1997). A legacy of failure: The inability of the federal-state vocational rehabilitation system to serve people with severe mental illnesses. Arlington, VA: National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.Google Scholar
- Roswell, R. (2002). Posthearing questions concerning July 24, 2002 hearing on “Mental health care: Can VA still deliver?”: Response to Senator Rockefeller. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.Google Scholar
- Schnurr, P. P., Friedman, M. J., Foy, D. W., Shea, M. T., Hsieh, F. Y., Lavori, P. W., et al. (2003). A randomized trial of trauma focus group therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder: Results from a Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60, 481–489.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- U.S. Census Bureau. (2002). Statistical abstract of the United States: 2001. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
- U.S. General Accounting Office. (2002). SSA and VA disability programs: Re-examination of disability criteria needed to help ensure program integrity (Report GAO-02-597). Washington, DC: U.S. General Accounting Office. Weathers, F. W., Keane, T. M., & Davidson, J. R. (2001). Clinician-administered PTSD scale: A review of the first ten years of research. Depression and Anxiety, 13, 132– 156.Google Scholar
- Weathers, F. W., Litz, B. T., Herman, D. S., Huska, J. A., & Keane, T. M. (1993). PTSD Checklist: Reliability, validity, and diagnostic utility. In Proceedings of the 9th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) (p. 8). Chicago, IL: ISTSS.Google Scholar
- Zatzick, D. F., Marmar, C. R., Weiss, D. S., Browner, W. S., Metzler, T. J., Golding, J. M., et al. (1997). Posttraumatic stress disorder and functioning and quality of life outcomes in a nationally representative sample of male Vietnam veterans. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 1690–1695.PubMedGoogle Scholar