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Age differences in posttraumatic stress disorder, psychiatric disorders, and healthcare service use among veterans in Veterans Affairs primary care clinics.
Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007 Aug; 15(8):660-72.AJ

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To expand our understanding of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) prevalence, its psychiatric characteristics, and service use among elderly veterans in Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care clinics.

METHODS

A cross-sectional, epidemiological design (N = 745) incorporating self-report measures, structured interviews, and chart reviews was used to obtain relevant information for analyses.

RESULTS

The oldest group of veterans (>or=65 years; N = 318) had lower prevalence of most psychiatric diagnoses than the youngest (18-44 years; N = 69) and middle-aged (45-64 years; N = 358) groups. Despite having higher rates of combat exposure, veterans in the oldest group (6.3%) had one-third the prevalence of PTSD than those in the middle-aged group (18.6%). A similar pattern was found across other psychiatric diagnoses. For example, those in the oldest group (7.5%) had one-third the prevalence of major depression as those in the two younger groups (21.7% and 22.9%). These differences were maintained after controlling for relevant demographic covariates (race, sex). Results from examination of VA health care service use across the three groups were consistent with the findings that the oldest veteran group is functioning significantly better across mental health domains.

CONCLUSION

Elderly veterans who use VA primary care services evidence lower rates of PTSD and other psychiatric disorders, and they use significantly less VA mental health services. They also do not appear to show evidence of worse physical health functioning or use VA health care services or disability benefits at a meaningfully higher rate than their younger counterparts.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo, HI 96720, USA. frueh@hawaii.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

17670996

Citation

Frueh, B Christopher, et al. "Age Differences in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Psychiatric Disorders, and Healthcare Service Use Among Veterans in Veterans Affairs Primary Care Clinics." The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry : Official Journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, vol. 15, no. 8, 2007, pp. 660-72.
Frueh BC, Grubaugh AL, Acierno R, et al. Age differences in posttraumatic stress disorder, psychiatric disorders, and healthcare service use among veterans in Veterans Affairs primary care clinics. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007;15(8):660-72.
Frueh, B. C., Grubaugh, A. L., Acierno, R., Elhai, J. D., Cain, G., & Magruder, K. M. (2007). Age differences in posttraumatic stress disorder, psychiatric disorders, and healthcare service use among veterans in Veterans Affairs primary care clinics. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry : Official Journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 15(8), 660-72.
Frueh BC, et al. Age Differences in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Psychiatric Disorders, and Healthcare Service Use Among Veterans in Veterans Affairs Primary Care Clinics. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007;15(8):660-72. PubMed PMID: 17670996.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Age differences in posttraumatic stress disorder, psychiatric disorders, and healthcare service use among veterans in Veterans Affairs primary care clinics. AU - Frueh,B Christopher, AU - Grubaugh,Anouk L, AU - Acierno,Ron, AU - Elhai,Jon D, AU - Cain,Gregory, AU - Magruder,Kathryn M, PY - 2007/8/3/pubmed PY - 2007/10/16/medline PY - 2007/8/3/entrez SP - 660 EP - 72 JF - The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry JO - Am J Geriatr Psychiatry VL - 15 IS - 8 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To expand our understanding of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) prevalence, its psychiatric characteristics, and service use among elderly veterans in Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care clinics. METHODS: A cross-sectional, epidemiological design (N = 745) incorporating self-report measures, structured interviews, and chart reviews was used to obtain relevant information for analyses. RESULTS: The oldest group of veterans (>or=65 years; N = 318) had lower prevalence of most psychiatric diagnoses than the youngest (18-44 years; N = 69) and middle-aged (45-64 years; N = 358) groups. Despite having higher rates of combat exposure, veterans in the oldest group (6.3%) had one-third the prevalence of PTSD than those in the middle-aged group (18.6%). A similar pattern was found across other psychiatric diagnoses. For example, those in the oldest group (7.5%) had one-third the prevalence of major depression as those in the two younger groups (21.7% and 22.9%). These differences were maintained after controlling for relevant demographic covariates (race, sex). Results from examination of VA health care service use across the three groups were consistent with the findings that the oldest veteran group is functioning significantly better across mental health domains. CONCLUSION: Elderly veterans who use VA primary care services evidence lower rates of PTSD and other psychiatric disorders, and they use significantly less VA mental health services. They also do not appear to show evidence of worse physical health functioning or use VA health care services or disability benefits at a meaningfully higher rate than their younger counterparts. SN - 1064-7481 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/17670996/Age_differences_in_posttraumatic_stress_disorder_psychiatric_disorders_and_healthcare_service_use_among_veterans_in_Veterans_Affairs_primary_care_clinics_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/15/8/660 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -