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Patterns and correlates of racial/ethnic disparities in posttraumatic stress disorder screening among recently separated veterans.

October, 2019
Article:

This paper describes patterns and correlates of post traumatic stress disorder screening across race, ethnicity and gender in veterans recently separated from the military.

Abstract

Background Despite the high prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among military veterans, there is a lack of knowledge about racial/ethnic differences. The current study describes patterns and correlates of PTSD screening across race/ethnicity and gender in a sample of 9420 veterans recently separated from the military. Veterans who identified as White (n = 6222), Hispanic/Latinx (n = 1313), Black (n = 1027), Asian/Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (n = 420) and multiracial (n = 438) were included. Method Trauma exposure and PTSD were assessed with the Primary Care PTSD Screen for DSM-5. Contextual factors examined included the intensity of ongoing stressful events, perceived social support, and sociodemographic variables (e.g., income). Weighted analyses were conducted to account for differential sample response rates. Regression analyses examining correlates of racial/ethnic differences in PTSD screening were stratified by gender. Results Among men and women, positive PTSD screening rates were significantly elevated among Black, multiracial, and Hispanic/Latinx veterans compared with White veterans. Sociodemographics, trauma exposure, stress and social support accounted for elevated positive screening rates among all racial/ethnic groups except Black men and multiracial women. Conclusions Findings suggest that Black, Hispanic/Latinx and multiracial veterans may be at higher risk for PTSD shortly following separation from the military. Contextual factors examined explain the excess risk among some, but not all, subgroups. Further specifying disparities in PTSD diagnostic rates and risk factors will enable targeted and tailored intervention among veteran subgroups.

Full Reference

McClendon, J., Perkins, D., Copeland, L. A., Finley, E. P. and Vogt, D., 2019. Patterns and correlates of racial/ethnic disparities in posttraumatic stress disorder screening among recently separated veterans. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 68. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2019.102145.

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