Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Screening Status is Associated with Increased VA Medical and Surgical Utilization in Women

Citation:

Dobie, Dorcas J., Charles Maynard, Daniel R. Kivlahan, Kay M. Johnson, Tracy Simpson, Andrew C. David, and Katharine Bradley. 2006. "Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Screening Status is Associated with Increased VA Medical and Surgical Utilization in Women." Journal of General Internal Medicine 21 (S3): S58-S64.

Authors: Dorcas J. Dobie, Charles Maynard, Daniel R. Kivlahan, Kay M. Johnson, Tracy Simpson, Andrew C. David, Katharine Bradley

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Women with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) report poor health, but associations with health care utilization are understudied.

OBJECTIVE: To determine associations between medical/surgical utilization and PTSD in female Veterans Affairs (VA) patients.

DESIGN: Prospective comparison of utilization rates between women screening positive or negative for PTSD on a mailed survey.

SUBJECTS: Women receiving care at an urban VA medical center between October 1996 and January 2000.

MEASUREMENTS: Survey responses, including a validated screen for PTSD (PCL-C), and VA utilization data through September 2002.

RESULTS: Two thousand five hundred and seventy-eight (2,578) women (78% of those eligible) completed the PCL-C; 858 (33%) of them screened positive for PTSD (PTSD+). In unadjusted models, PTSD+ women had higher rates of medical/surgical hospitalizations and surgical inpatient procedures. Among women ages 35 to 49, mean days hospitalized/100 patients/year was 43.4 (95% CI 26 to 61) for PTSD+ women versus 17.0 (16 to 18) for PTSD negative (PTSD?) women. More PTSD+ women underwent surgical procedures (P<.001). Mean annual outpatient visits were significantly higher among PTSD+ women, including: emergency department (ED) (1.1 [1.0 to 1.2] vs 0.6 [0.5 to 0.6]), primary care (3.2 [3.0 to 3.4] vs 2.2 [2.1 to 2.3]), medical/surgical subspecialists (2.1 [1.9 to 2.3] vs 1.5 [1.4 to 1.6]), ancillary services (4.1 [3.7 to 4.5] vs 2.4 [2.2 to 2.6]), and diagnostic tests (5.6 [5.1 to 6.1] vs 3.7 [3.4 to 4.0]). In multivariate models adjusted for demographics, smoking, service access, and medical comorbidities, PTSD+ women had greater likelihood of medical/surgical hospitalization (OR=1.37 [1.04 to 1.79]) and of being among the top quartile of patients for visits to the ED, primary care, ancillary services, and diagnostic testing.

CONCLUSIONS: Female veterans who screen PTSD+ receive more VA medical/surgical services. Appropriateness of that care deserves further study.

Keywords: female veterans, mental health, posttraumatic stress disorder

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Military Forces & Armed Groups Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2006

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.