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Relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder and self-reported physical symptoms in Persian Gulf War veterans.
Arch Intern Med. 1997 Oct 13; 157(18):2076-8.AI

Abstract

BACKGROUND

While prior studies show that combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) report more physical symptoms than veterans without PTSD, the link between PTSD and somatic complaints in Persian Gulf War veterans (PGWVs) is yet to be evaluated.

METHODS

A questionnaire booklet was completed by 188 PGWVs, of whom half were patients in a veterans health screening clinic and half were non-treatment-seeking volunteers on active duty. The booklet included the Combat Exposure Scale, the Mississippi Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Scale (MPTSD), and a subjective symptom-based health questionnaire.

RESULTS

The 24 PGWVs (12.8%) with PTSD (MPTSD score > or = 116) reported more combat exposure (P = .02) and a greater number of physical symptoms (P = .001) than other PGWVs. Fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, dizziness, back pain, stomach ache, and numbness were much more likely to be reported by those with PTSD (MPTSD score > or = 116) than by those without PTSD (MPTSD score < or = 95).

CONCLUSIONS

Physicians examining PGWVs should be alert to the possibility of PTSD in this group and that those with PTSD are more likely to report physical symptoms that may overlap with those in Persian Gulf syndrome. Consequently, mental health screening is essential, since for those veterans with PTSD diagnosis of other coexisting conditions may be confounded and early effective treatment of their PTSD may be delayed. Also, given the increased reporting of certain symptoms by those with PTSD, those seeking the cause of Persian Gulf syndrome should control for PTSD when determining the symptom cluster that may constitute this condition.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Ohio, USA.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

9382663

Citation

Baker, D G., et al. "Relationship Between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Self-reported Physical Symptoms in Persian Gulf War Veterans." Archives of Internal Medicine, vol. 157, no. 18, 1997, pp. 2076-8.
Baker DG, Mendenhall CL, Simbartl LA, et al. Relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder and self-reported physical symptoms in Persian Gulf War veterans. Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(18):2076-8.
Baker, D. G., Mendenhall, C. L., Simbartl, L. A., Magan, L. K., & Steinberg, J. L. (1997). Relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder and self-reported physical symptoms in Persian Gulf War veterans. Archives of Internal Medicine, 157(18), 2076-8.
Baker DG, et al. Relationship Between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Self-reported Physical Symptoms in Persian Gulf War Veterans. Arch Intern Med. 1997 Oct 13;157(18):2076-8. PubMed PMID: 9382663.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder and self-reported physical symptoms in Persian Gulf War veterans. AU - Baker,D G, AU - Mendenhall,C L, AU - Simbartl,L A, AU - Magan,L K, AU - Steinberg,J L, PY - 1997/10/24/pubmed PY - 1997/10/24/medline PY - 1997/10/24/entrez SP - 2076 EP - 8 JF - Archives of internal medicine JO - Arch Intern Med VL - 157 IS - 18 N2 - BACKGROUND: While prior studies show that combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) report more physical symptoms than veterans without PTSD, the link between PTSD and somatic complaints in Persian Gulf War veterans (PGWVs) is yet to be evaluated. METHODS: A questionnaire booklet was completed by 188 PGWVs, of whom half were patients in a veterans health screening clinic and half were non-treatment-seeking volunteers on active duty. The booklet included the Combat Exposure Scale, the Mississippi Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Scale (MPTSD), and a subjective symptom-based health questionnaire. RESULTS: The 24 PGWVs (12.8%) with PTSD (MPTSD score > or = 116) reported more combat exposure (P = .02) and a greater number of physical symptoms (P = .001) than other PGWVs. Fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, dizziness, back pain, stomach ache, and numbness were much more likely to be reported by those with PTSD (MPTSD score > or = 116) than by those without PTSD (MPTSD score < or = 95). CONCLUSIONS: Physicians examining PGWVs should be alert to the possibility of PTSD in this group and that those with PTSD are more likely to report physical symptoms that may overlap with those in Persian Gulf syndrome. Consequently, mental health screening is essential, since for those veterans with PTSD diagnosis of other coexisting conditions may be confounded and early effective treatment of their PTSD may be delayed. Also, given the increased reporting of certain symptoms by those with PTSD, those seeking the cause of Persian Gulf syndrome should control for PTSD when determining the symptom cluster that may constitute this condition. SN - 0003-9926 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/9382663/Relationship_between_posttraumatic_stress_disorder_and_self_reported_physical_symptoms_in_Persian_Gulf_War_veterans_ L2 - https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/vol/157/pg/2076 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -