Depression and anxiety are associated with significantly increased healthcare costs that include costs of non-psychiatric medical care. PTSD has been found to be related to many negative health perceptions and outcomes (e.g., [Resnick, H.S., Acierno, R., Kilpatrick, D.G., 1997. Health impact of interpersonal violence: II. Medical and mental health outcomes. Behavioral Medicine 23, 65-78]). The presence of comorbid depression and anxiety disorders in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is well documented. This study aims to examine the effects of depression and anxiety on health satisfaction in veterans with PTSD.
The current study utilizes archival data from a clinical sample of combat veterans (N=249) with and without PTSD in order to examine the unique contributions of anxiety and depression to reported health satisfaction.
After controlling for PTSD severity, combat exposure, and age, when both anxiety and depression are examined simultaneously in a regression to predict health satisfaction only depression significantly contributed and accounted for 10% of model variance.
While both depression and anxiety are related to more negative reported health satisfaction among veterans in a PTSD clinic, depression appears to be a main contributor.
Evaluation and treatment seeking veterans may differ from a full range of veterans with PTSD. Closer examination with measures of depression and anxiety that more precisely separate these constructs is warranted. Finally, it is not known whether reported health satisfaction is related to an objective difference in health status or is more indicative of subjective expression of distress.