Treatment of department of veterans affairs primary care patients with posttraumatic stress disorder

Kyle Possemato, Paige Ouimette, Larry J. Lantinga, Michael Wade, Deb Coolhart, Mary Schohn, Allison Labbe, Kate Strutynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care patients and may be managed via multiple treatment pathways. Using the Behavioral Model of Health Service Use (Anderson, 1995), this retrospective study based on medical chart review examined factors associated with three types of mental health treatment: intervention by a 1) primary care provider (PCP), 2) primary care-mental health integration (PC-MHI) provider, and 3) specialty mental health (SMH) provider. A second goal was to describe PTSD treatment services for patients not receiving SMH by detailing the content of mental health treatment provided by PCPs and PC-MHI providers. Electronic medical record data for a five year time period for 133 Veterans were randomly selected for review from a population 6,637 primary care patients with PTSD. Results indicated that the evaluated needs of participants (i.e., number of unique medical and psychiatric disorders) were associated with Veterans receiving more intensive services (i.e., SMH). PCPs commonly addressed patients' mental health concerns, but patients often declined referrals for mental health treatment. PC-MHI consultations most often focused on medication management and supportive psychotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-93
Number of pages12
JournalPsychological Services
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Health care utilization
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Primary care
  • Primary care-mental health integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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