Severity of combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder versus noncombat-related posttraumatic stress disorder: a community-based study in American Indian and Hispanic veterans.
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The goal of the study was to compare severity of combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) versus noncombat-related PTSD in a group known to have high rates of combat-related PTSD. Sample consisted of 255 male American Indian and Hispanic veterans with lifetime PTSD who were contacted in communities in 2 regions of the country. Measures of PTSD severity included current posttraumatic symptoms, remission from lifetime PTSD, lifetime severity of alcohol-drug related problems, and mental health treatment history. Our findings revealed that veterans with combat-related PTSD had more severe posttraumatic symptoms, were less apt to have remitted from PTSD during the last year, and-contrary to expectation-were less apt to have sought mental health treatment since military duty. In conclusion, combat-related PTSD was more severe, as compared with noncombat-related PTSD, in this group, on 2 out of 5 measures. A low rate of mental health treatment since military duty may have contributed to increased symptoms and a lower remission rate.