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PTSD associated with more, longer hospitalizations
Date:3/27/2008

Boston, MAResearchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC) have found post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with more hospitalizations, longer hospitalizations and greater mental healthcare utilization in urban primary care patients. These findings appear in the current issue of Medical Care.

Prior studies suggest that trauma exposure and PTSD have considerable impact on health care use and costs. Most of this research, however, has focused on male veterans and female sexual assault victims but the impact on healthcare use in other populations is uncertain.

The researchers interviewed a sample of primary care patients to examine overall prevalence of traumatic exposure and select behavioral health outcomes in addition to PTSD, including major depression, substance dependence and chronic pain. The interview included demographic questions, the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (version 2.1 PTSD module), the Chronic Pain Definitional Questionnaire, the Patient Health Questionnaire (to measure depression) and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview-Short Form (for drug and alcohol dependence).

Among the participants, the researchers found that 80 percent had one or more trauma exposures. Compared to participants with no trauma exposure, subjects exposed to trauma were significantly more likely to be males, unmarried, have substance dependence and depression. They also had more mental health visits than those with no trauma exposure.

Among the participants, 22 percent had current PTSD. Compared to participants without PTSD, those with PTSD were significantly more likely to be female, to have an annual income of less than or equal to $20,000, have substance dependence and depression. PTSD participants also had more hospitalizations and mental health visits.

According to the researchers, among urban primary care patients PTSD is associ
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Contact: Gina DiGravio
gina.digravio@bmc.org
617-638-8491
Boston University
Source:Eurekalert

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