Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 52 Number 5, 2015
   Pages 563 — 576

Abstract — Impact of comorbid depression on quality of life in male combat Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder

Phillip A. Raab, MA;1* Margaret-Anne Mackintosh, PhD;1 Daniel F. Gros, PhD;2 Leslie A. Morland, PsyD1,3

1National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Pacific Islands Division, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Pacific Islands Health Care System, Honolulu, HI; 2Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC; and Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC; 3John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI

Abstract — For Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression is a highly comorbid condition. Both conditions have been associated with decreased quality of life, and research suggests that comorbid PTSD and depression may result in worse quality of life than PTSD alone. However, research is needed to elucidate the effect of comorbidity on a broader variety of quality of life domains. In this study, we used baseline data of 158 male combat Veterans taking part in a PTSD treatment trial and examined the unique relationships between quality of life domains and PTSD symptom clusters, major depressive disorder (MDD) diagnosis, and self-reported depressive symptoms. Veterans with comorbid PTSD-MDD reported significantly worse satisfaction-related quality of life than those with PTSD alone, although this finding was largely attributable to PTSD numbing symptoms. Subsequent analyses comparing the effect of numbing symptoms to depressive symptoms revealed that depression exerted a stronger influence, although numbing symptoms were still uniquely associated with quality of life. We discuss implications for treatment and research, as well as the need to address negative affect in Veterans with PTSD.

Clinical Trial Registration:; NCT00879255; "Telemental Health and Cognitive Processing Therapy for Rural Combat Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (CPTVTEL)" (parent study from which present study draws its data);

Key words:comorbidity, depression, major depressive disorder, MDD, negative affect, numbing, posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD, quality of life, Veterans.

View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 52, No.5

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Raab PA, Mackintosh M, Gros DF, Morland LA. Impact of comorbid depression on quality of life in male combat Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2015;52(5):563???76.
ORCID: Phillip A. Raab, MA: 0000-0002-3722-4927; Margaret-Anne Mackintosh, PhD: 0000-0002-2725-3177; Daniel F. Gros, PhD: 0000-0003-3946-6716

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