Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Functioning and Quality of Life Outcomes in Female Vietnam Veterans

Published in: Military Medicine, v. 162, no. 10, Oct. 1997, p. 661-665

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1997

by Douglas F. Zatzick, Daniel S. Weiss, Charles R. Marmar, Thomas J. Metzler, Kenneth B. Wells, Jacqueline M. Golding, Anita Stewart, William E. Schlenger, Warren S. Browner

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This investigation assessed whether current post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was associated with impaired functioning in a nationally representative sample of female Vietnam veterans. Logistic models were used to determine the association between PTSD and outcome while adjusting for demographic characteristics and medical and psychiatric comorbidities. PTSD was associated with significantly elevated odds of poorer functioning in five of the six outcome domains; only the association between perpetration of violence in the past year and PTSD did not achieve statistical significance. After adjusting for demographics and medical and psychiatric comorbidities, PTSD remained associated with significantly elevated odds of bed days, poorer physical health, and currently not working. The report concludes that among female Vietnam veterans PTSD is associated with a broad profile of functional impairment. The significantly increased odds of impaired functioning and diminished quality of life suggest that PTSD may be the core problem of the set of problems afflicting female Vietnam veterans.

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