Chronicity in posttraumatic stress disorder and predictors of the course of posttraumatic stress disorder among primary care patients.J Nerv Ment Dis. 2004 Feb; 192(2):153-9.JN
The present study examined the course of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a sample of 84 primary care patients. More specifically, this study investigated the role of Axis I comorbidity, psychosocial impairment, and treatment participation in the maintenance of an episode of chronic PTSD and whether patients at follow-up met criteria for PTSD (full remission) or continued to exhibit residual PTSD symptoms and impairment (partial PTSD). Diagnostic structured interviews established all clinical diagnoses and information on the course of anxiety disorder symptoms, psychosocial functioning, and treatment status. Using a prospective, longitudinal design, this study found that during the first 2 years of follow-up, the probability of no longer meeting full DSM-IV criteria for PTSD was .69, and .18 for full remission from PTSD. The number of comorbid anxiety disorders and degree of psychosocial impairment at intake were significantly related to remission status (i.e., full and partial PTSD). This study suggests that, in a primary care setting, PTSD is a persistent illness, and that many subjects who have recovered from PTSD continue to suffer from subthreshold symptoms of PTSD.