PTSD and Combat-Related Psychiatric Symptoms in Older Veterans   [open pdf - 279KB]

This article on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) analyzes PTSD and its symptoms among pre-Vietnam military veterans. The article reviews literature published prior to the use of the term "PTSD", as well as literature after its common use. From the article: "During the past decade PTSD researchers have shown increased interest in men who fought in wars prior to Vietnam. This issue of the PTSD Research Quarterly reviews the literature on combat-related psychiatric symptoms in these men. The review reflects publication trends and is divided into two sections. One section contains sources published before the introduction of PTSD into the diagnostic nomenclature by the third edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in 1980. The other contains sources published after the formalization of PTSD as a diagnostic entity. [...] One gets a sense of déjà vu when reading the older sources. The authors seem highly insightful, because the questions asked (and many of the answers) are startlingly similar to those in more contemporary materials. However, it is important to note that none of these studies were as diagnostically pure as more current investigations, and few used instruments that we now consider necessary for assessing PTSD. A significant limitation of the current literature is the absence of information about the assessment and treatment of PTSD in older veterans. Another limitation is the absence of longitudinal studies. The exception to this rule (Elder & Clipp, 1988, 1989), as well as attempts to document developmental trends retrospectively, suggest that interesting changes may occur over the life span in conjunction with normal aging processes. An additional limitation is the absence of information about women and minorities. Research on Vietnam veterans has shown that it is important to consider gender and ethnicity when studying PTSD. Taken together, the findings reviewed above are troubling: PTSD currently exists in many veterans decades after their exposure to combat."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
National Center for PTSD: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/
Media Type:
PTSD Research Quarterly (Winter 1991), v.2 no.1
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