Combat, dissociation, and posttraumatic stress disorder in Australian Vietnam veterans.J Trauma Stress. 1999 Oct; 12(4):625-40.JT
The specificity of various wartime stressors for different posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms is inconsistently reported in the literature. Combat, wounding, and peritraumatic dissociation have not been assessed together in their effects on each of the various PTSD symptom clusters. This cohort study of a random sample of male Australian Army Vietnam veterans yielded psychiatric assessments of 641 subjects. PTSD measures comprised symptom criteria for reexperiencing, numbing and avoidance, hyperarousal, and PTSD diagnosis both lifetime and current within the past month. Logistic regression is used to examine the effects of combat, wounding, and peritraumatic dissociation together on PTSD. Combat experiences comprised four components derived from a principal components analysis of combat experiences: direct combat exposure, exposure to death and injury, exposure to civilian death and injury, and exposure to mutilation. Each was differentially related to reexperiencing, avoidance, hyperarousal, and PTSD diagnosis. Being wounded was not related to lifetime or current PTSD and peritraumatic dissociation was related to all diagnostic components of PTSD in the presence of other variables.