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Serving those who served: retention of newly returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan in mental health treatment.
Psychiatr Serv. 2011 Jan; 62(1):22-7.PS

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

There are growing concerns about the mental health status of returning veterans from the recent conflicts in Iraq (Operation Iraq Freedom [OIF]) and Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom [OEF]) and about retention in mental health treatment of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study obtained data from veterans who had a new diagnosis of PTSD from fiscal year (FY) 2004 to FY 2007 and determined whether retention in PTSD treatment and the number of mental health visits were comparable among OIF-OEF veterans and veterans from other service eras.

METHODS

Data from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense were combined to identify veterans who were newly diagnosed as having PTSD (N=204,184) and their service era. Survival analysis assessed dropout from mental health treatment within one year from initial diagnosis, and Poisson regression assessed the association between war era and number of mental health visits.

RESULTS

Although a smaller proportion of OIF-OEF veterans than Vietnam-era veterans remained in treatment for more than one year (37.6% versus 46.0%), when the analyses adjusted for demographic characteristics and comorbid diagnoses, OIF-OEF veterans were less likely than Vietnam-era veterans to discontinue psychiatric treatment for PTSD within one year. OIF-OEF veterans attended fewer mental health visits than Vietnam-era veterans did (8.15 versus 13.37). However, multivariate analysis indicated that, after the analyses adjusted for confounding factors, OIF-OEF veterans had significantly more visits than Vietnam-era veterans associated with PTSD treatment.

CONCLUSIONS

Retention and numbers of visits were found to be lower among OIF-OEF veterans primarily as a function of age and comorbid conditions and not as a function of the particular war era. Interventions should be designed to target specific barriers to care that may interfere with continued engagement in mental health services.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, 300 George St., Suite 901, New Haven, CT 06511, USA. ilan.harpaz-rotem@yale.eduNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21209295

Citation

Harpaz-Rotem, Ilan, and Robert A. Rosenheck. "Serving Those Who Served: Retention of Newly Returning Veterans From Iraq and Afghanistan in Mental Health Treatment." Psychiatric Services (Washington, D.C.), vol. 62, no. 1, 2011, pp. 22-7.
Harpaz-Rotem I, Rosenheck RA. Serving those who served: retention of newly returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan in mental health treatment. Psychiatr Serv. 2011;62(1):22-7.
Harpaz-Rotem, I., & Rosenheck, R. A. (2011). Serving those who served: retention of newly returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan in mental health treatment. Psychiatric Services (Washington, D.C.), 62(1), 22-7. https://doi.org/10.1176/ps.62.1.pss6201_0022
Harpaz-Rotem I, Rosenheck RA. Serving Those Who Served: Retention of Newly Returning Veterans From Iraq and Afghanistan in Mental Health Treatment. Psychiatr Serv. 2011;62(1):22-7. PubMed PMID: 21209295.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Serving those who served: retention of newly returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan in mental health treatment. AU - Harpaz-Rotem,Ilan, AU - Rosenheck,Robert A, PY - 2011/1/7/entrez PY - 2011/1/7/pubmed PY - 2011/5/7/medline SP - 22 EP - 7 JF - Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) JO - Psychiatr Serv VL - 62 IS - 1 N2 - OBJECTIVE: There are growing concerns about the mental health status of returning veterans from the recent conflicts in Iraq (Operation Iraq Freedom [OIF]) and Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom [OEF]) and about retention in mental health treatment of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study obtained data from veterans who had a new diagnosis of PTSD from fiscal year (FY) 2004 to FY 2007 and determined whether retention in PTSD treatment and the number of mental health visits were comparable among OIF-OEF veterans and veterans from other service eras. METHODS: Data from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense were combined to identify veterans who were newly diagnosed as having PTSD (N=204,184) and their service era. Survival analysis assessed dropout from mental health treatment within one year from initial diagnosis, and Poisson regression assessed the association between war era and number of mental health visits. RESULTS: Although a smaller proportion of OIF-OEF veterans than Vietnam-era veterans remained in treatment for more than one year (37.6% versus 46.0%), when the analyses adjusted for demographic characteristics and comorbid diagnoses, OIF-OEF veterans were less likely than Vietnam-era veterans to discontinue psychiatric treatment for PTSD within one year. OIF-OEF veterans attended fewer mental health visits than Vietnam-era veterans did (8.15 versus 13.37). However, multivariate analysis indicated that, after the analyses adjusted for confounding factors, OIF-OEF veterans had significantly more visits than Vietnam-era veterans associated with PTSD treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Retention and numbers of visits were found to be lower among OIF-OEF veterans primarily as a function of age and comorbid conditions and not as a function of the particular war era. Interventions should be designed to target specific barriers to care that may interfere with continued engagement in mental health services. SN - 1557-9700 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21209295/Serving_those_who_served:_retention_of_newly_returning_veterans_from_Iraq_and_Afghanistan_in_mental_health_treatment_ L2 - https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/ps.62.1.pss6201_0022?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -