Associations between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and increased health care utilization have been established with electronic medical record data collection, which can be limited because patient specific information (e.g., occupational functioning) is typically not available. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 124 veterans to obtain measures of PTSD severity, hazardous alcohol use, and health care utilization. After controlling for relevant sociodemographic, military, and psychiatric comorbidities results revealed that (a) re-experiencing symptoms were associated with mental health visits and psychiatric medication use, (b) subjective distress was associated with primary care visits, and (c) avoidance symptoms, and occupational and social impairment were associated with pain medication use. The results provide information to clinicians on what mental health symptoms and functional impairments may be driving health care utilization among OEF/OIF veterans.
- Functional impairment
- Health care utilization
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Symptom clusters
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Emergency Medicine