Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Associated Risk Factors in Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans with Health-Related Disabilities
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OBJECTIVES: This study investigates posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its associated risk factors in a random, national, Canadian sample of United Nations peacekeeping veterans with service-related disabilities. METHODS: Participants included 1016 male veterans (age < 65 years) who served in the Canadian Forces from 1990 to 1999 and were selected from a larger random sample of 1968 veterans who voluntarily and anonymously completed a general health survey conducted by Veterans Affairs Canada in 1999. Survey instruments included the PTSD Checklist-Military Version (PCL-M), Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D), and questionnaires regarding life events during the past year, current stressors, sociodemographic characteristics, and military history. RESULTS: We found that rates of probable PTSD (PCL-M score > 50) among veterans were 10.92% for veterans deployed once and 14.84% for those deployed more than once. The rates of probable clinical depression (CES-D score > 16) were 30.35% for veterans deployed once and 32.62% for those deployed more than once. We found that, in multivariate analyses, probable PTSD rates and PTSD severity were associated with younger age, single marital status, and deployment frequency. CONCLUSIONS: PTSD is an important health concern in the veteran population. Understanding such risk factors as younger age and unmarried status can help predict morbidity among trauma-exposed veterans.
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