Combat trauma: trauma with highest risk of delayed onset and unresolved posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, unemployment, and abuse among men

H G Prigerson, P K Maciejewski, R A Rosenheck
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 2001, 189 (2): 99-108
Little is known about the risk and course of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other forms of dysfunction, associated with combat trauma relative to other traumas. Modified versions of the DSM-III-R PTSD module from the Diagnostic Interview Schedule and Composite International Diagnostic Interview were administered to a representative national sample of 5,877 persons 15-54 years old in the part 2 subsample of the National Comorbidity Survey. Of the weighted subsample, 1,703 men reported a traumatic event. The risk of PTSD and other forms of dysfunction were compared for men who nominated combat as their worst trauma versus men nominating other traumas as worst, controlling for confounding influences. Men reporting combat as their worst trauma were more likely to have lifetime PTSD, delayed PTSD symptom onset, and unresolved PTSD symptoms, and to be unemployed, fired, divorced, and physically abusive to their spouses than men reporting other traumas as their worst experience.

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