The impact of PTSD symptoms on physical and mental health functioning in returning veterans

Journal of anxiety disorders (Impact Factor: 2.68). 02/2014; 28(3):310-317. DOI: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2014.01.005
Source: PubMed


This study aimed to determine the unique impact of PTSD symptoms, beyond other frequently examined factors on physical and mental health functioning in a sample of returning veterans. Assessments of 168 returning OEF/OIF veterans conducted an average of six months following return from deployment included measures of emotional disorders and the Short Form (36) Health Survey. Hierarchical multiple regressions revealed significant, unique contribution of Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) score above all other predictors in the model (demographics, severity of trauma exposure, physical injury, substance abuse and depressive symptoms), for both the physical (8%) and mental (6%) health aggregate scores, along with significant prediction of physical health (4-10%) and mental health (3-7%) subscale scores. The only other significant predictors were age for physical health scores, and depressive symptoms for mental health scores. PTSD criterion B (re-experiencing) symptoms uniquely predicted reduced physical health functioning and higher experience of bodily pain, while criterion D (hyperarousal) symptoms uniquely predicted lower feelings of energy/vitality and poorer perceptions of emotional health.

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    • ", reduced health functioning , and elevated bod - ily pain ( Asnaani et al . , 2014 ) ; while avoidance was linked with greater psychosocial difficulties ( Pietrzak et al . , 2010 ) and lower healthcare utilization ( Blais et al . , 2014 ) . Hyperarousal symptoms have been independently associated with lower vitality and emo - tional functioning ( Asnaani et al . , 2014 ) . Though PTSD symp - tom clusters have sometimes been associated with functional deficits , they are not invariably associated with impaired func - tion , and psychophysiological factors may represent important moderators . The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the release of the catecholamines epinephrine , norepinephrine , and d"
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