Volume 53 Number 3, 2016
Pages 391 — 402
Abstract — This study compared health status across four trauma/posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) groups of older adults with depression, anxiety, and/or at-risk drinking who attended primary care appointments (N = 1,199; mean age = 73.5 yr), mostly at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals. The trauma and PTSD categories were PTSD (n = 81), partial PTSD (n = 127), trauma only (n = 323), and no trauma (n = 668). Physical and mental health-related quality of life (HQL), indices of social and economic impairment and stigma regarding treatment-seeking were compared among groups. Group differences were found for several indicators of functional impairment; the PTSD group had fewer close friends and higher treatment-seeking stigma beliefs related to having a disorder. Linear mixed modeling examined associations between trauma/PTSD group and HQL. After accounting for covariates, the trauma/PTSD groups differed across the Medical Outcome Study Short Form-36 scales and component scores (indicated by significant group by scale interaction). Differences among groups were confined to mental health measures; those with PTSD had worse HQL. Post hoc analyses examined the number of comorbid psychiatric diagnoses by trauma/PTSD group. Overall, findings indicate that mental HQL varies among older adults with trauma and PTSD and that although treatment-related stigma does not differ among groups, it does affect HQL.
Key words: aging, comorbidity, health-related quality of life, linear mixed modeling, mental health, physical health, posttraumatic stress disorder, stigma, trauma, treatment-seeking.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Tuesday, May 10, 2016 12:03 PM