Attentional functioning in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder: a preliminary study

ArticleinCNS spectrums 18(2):1-5 · January 2013with9 Reads
Impact Factor: 2.71 · DOI: 10.1017/S1092852912000909 · Source: PubMed

    Abstract

    Objective:
    To compare patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to patients without psychiatric or cognitive disorders on neuropsychological measures of attention.

    Methods:
    The sample included 19 patients with PTSD and 22 participants with no cognitive or psychiatric diagnosis. All had been referred for clinical neuropsychological evaluation at a VA Medical Center. None were diagnosed with dementia, delirium, or current substance dependence except nicotine or caffeine, and none had a history of stroke or of traumatic brain injury with loss of consciousness. Patients were excluded if they failed to exert adequate effort on testing.

    Results:
    PTSD patients performed significantly more poorly than patients without psychiatric diagnoses on Digit Span.

    Conclusion:
    PTSD patients were impaired relative to participants without psychiatric diagnoses on a measure of focused attention. Several factors, including the small sample size, suggest that the results should be considered preliminary.