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Post traumatic stress disorder and vietnam veterans

On May 7, 1975, President Gerald R. Its findings became the empirical basis for many policy changes on veterans health. Based on peer review, it was designed, implemented, analyzed, and interpreted by a multidisciplinary team of health and mental health professionals from Abt Associates a leading health and social post traumatic stress disorder and vietnam veterans research firm and the Department of Psychiatry at New York University.

That group included three co-principal investigators from the first study. The research team submitted the new study to the VA in December 2013. The VA shared the findings with Congress in August 2014. For theater veterans, warzone stress exposure and other combat-related experiences were assessed in the original NVVRS during hour-long interviews. Dimensions of warzone stress included combat exposure, abusive violence, deprivation, loss of meaning, prisoner of war status, and exposure to the wounded and dead.

A quarter of theater veterans living today reported high levels of warzone stress exposure, versus low to moderate for the others. In both studies, all veterans were assessed for postwar physical and mental health problems. Some veterans also were interviewed by experienced mental health clinicians, who focused on PTSD, major depression, and substance abuse.

Of the 1, 839 veterans who were eligible, 1, 450 participated in one or more components, a response rate of 79 percent. Because more than twenty years had passed when the follow-up began, the initial challenge was to locate the NVVRS participants.

  • Male and female theater veterans whose PTSD symptoms remained elevated or worsened over time were more likely to report recent VA outpatient service use than those with low symptom levels;
  • That group included three co-principal investigators from the first study.

We checked two national death registries and found that, as of April 2011, 428 of the 2, 348 participants had died. Death certificate information indicated that the majority of deaths were due to chronic and non-communicable diseases 78.

Analyses of these data indicate that male theater veterans who had PTSD in 1987 were nearly twice as likely to have died compared to those who did not have PTSD, and that male and female theater veterans with high exposure to warzone stress were also nearly twice as likely to have died than those with low or moderate warzone stress exposure.

A study of post traumatic stress disorder in Vietnam veterans.

The average age of the living Vietnam theater veterans as of 2013 was 67. Twenty-eight percent of all living theater veterans were high school graduates; 38. Among theater veterans, more women than men completed college 69.

More than half 58. The household income of the majority of theater veterans supported two people 63. Female theater veterans were twice as likely as their male counterparts to support only one person with their household income. Male theater veterans were more likely to support two to four people. Based on these rates, we estimate that some 283, 000 male and 400 female theater veterans had warzone PTSD in 2012-13, forty or more years after their wartime service.

We also examined changes in PTSD symptom patterns from the late 1980s to the second assessment in 2012-13 by creating four categories of change: We found that 75 percent of theater veterans reported low symptom levels at both times, 5 percent reported decreasing symptom levels, 13 percent reported increasing levels, and 7 percent reported consistently post traumatic stress disorder and vietnam veterans symptom levels at both times.

People with PTSD often meet criteria for other psychiatric disorders, particularly depression and substance abuse disorders.

  • Veteran suicide and veterans dealing with major mental health issues is a massive problem, and it's pervasive across military and veteran communities the world over;
  • We went to a little suburban cafe - and they had run out of bread rolls;
  • At first the change is subtle, developing until it occurs more commonly and more rapidly;
  • Triggers are not just physical prompts, but can also be emotional, occurring when the individual is placed in a situation where the same emotion is experienced;
  • NVVLS is now the first study to assess the health and mental health of Vietnam theater veterans based on survey and clinical assessment of a representative sample as they grow older;
  • People are often a lot more accepting with physical problems.

We found that 37 percent of theater veterans with current warzone PTSD also met criteria for major depression, and that 31 percent of those who have subthreshold warzone PTSD also met that criteria. By comparison, less than 1 percent of veterans without any PTSD met criteria for major depression. More than half of theater veterans reported musculoskeletal e.

Nearly one-third reported circulatory e. Theater veterans with current warzone PTSD were more likely to report a host of chronic conditions e. Use of Physical and Mental Health Services. Nearly 60 percent of Vietnam theater veterans reported receiving outpatient health care in the previous six months for physical health conditions.

Of those who reported receiving outpatient care, 37 percent received care within the VA system.

'If you're broken, you're not fit to serve'

Male and female theater veterans whose PTSD symptoms remained elevated or worsened over time were more likely to report recent VA outpatient service use than those with low symptom levels. Furthermore, two-thirds of theater veterans with current warzone-related PTSD discussed behavioral health or substance-use concerns with their primary care providers.

NVVLS is now the first study to assess the health and mental health of Vietnam post traumatic stress disorder and vietnam veterans veterans based on survey and clinical assessment of a post traumatic stress disorder and vietnam veterans sample as they grow older. However, we also found that a significant number are suffering from persistent and chronic PTSD symptoms related to their experiences in the war.

Additionally, we found that theater veterans who had current warzone PTSD continued to experience high levels of psychiatric disorders and chronic health issues. These findings are important to clinicians and policymakers because the course of warzone PTSD has not yet been charted over the long term. The substantial rate of current subthreshold warzone PTSD also represents an important public health concern, given the literature that suggests that it is associated with levels of functional impairment that are comparable to or approaching levels associated with full PTSD.

One hypothesis is that some PTSD symptoms may wax or wane over time, sliding a veteran back and forth between meeting PTSD diagnostic criteria and not. When the population prevalences are 11 percent for current warzone PTSD and 3 percent for subthreshold PTSD forty years after the traumatic exposure, the 3 percent are likely veterans with one or more waning PTSD symptoms.

These findings support the hypothesis that PTSD is a chronic, episodic disorder. The findings concerning the relationship between PTSD and chronic physical health conditions were interesting. They revealed that theater veterans who had warzone PTSD at the first assessment were almost twice as likely to have died before the second assessment as those who did not have PTSD. Similarly, we found a statistically significant correlation between the number of chronic physical health conditions in living theater veterans and current warzone PTSD at the second assessment.

Although these findings do not mean that current warzone PTSD creates chronic physical health conditions or early death—or vice versa—they do suggest that there may be information in the relationships that could help identify veterans in need of health care. Similarly, findings concerning the use of health services indicated that more than half of the theater veterans reported receiving outpatient health care in the past six months, and that almost 40 percent of those who got care received it at VA facilities.

Additionally, two-thirds of the theater veterans who had PTSD reported discussing behavioral health or substance-use concerns with their primary care providers. Taken together, these findings suggest a continued need for integrated health care and mental health care services among Vietnam veterans.

Findings also have implications for anticipating the long-term needs of veterans of more recent conflicts, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, and demonstrate the importance of investing in robustly designed longitudinal studies to understand the long-term health effects of warzone service.