This study was conducted with grants CSP #420 and CSP #494 from the VA Cooperative Studies Program and support from the Department of Defense for CSP #494. The views expressed in this article, however, are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, or any U.S. government agency. Trial registration information for CSP #494: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier NCT00032617. Registration was not required for CSP #420.
Comparison of Clinician- and Self-Assessments of Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Older Versus Younger Veterans
Version of Record online: 2 APR 2014
Published 2014. This work is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA
Journal of Traumatic Stress
Volume 27, Issue 2, pages 144–151, April 2014
How to Cite
Lunney, C. A., Schnurr, P. P. and Cook, J. M. (2014), Comparison of Clinician- and Self-Assessments of Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Older Versus Younger Veterans. J. Traum. Stress, 27: 144–151. doi: 10.1002/jts.21908
- Issue online: 16 APR 2014
- Version of Record online: 2 APR 2014
- Cooperative Studies Program. Grant Numbers: CSP #420, CSP #494
- Department of Defense. Grant Number: CSP #494
Assessment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in older adults has received limited investigation. The purpose of this study was to compare the severity of PTSD symptoms in treatment-seeking older and younger U.S. veterans with PTSD. Participants were 360 male and 284 female veterans enrolled in 2 separate clinical trials of psychotherapy for PTSD. About 4% of the participants were age 60 years or older. Symptoms were assessed before treatment using clinician-rated and self-report measures. For men, only numbing symptoms were lower in older veterans; this was so in clinician ratings, d = 0.76, and self-reports, d = 0.65. For women, clinician-rated hyperarousal symptoms were lower in older veterans, d = 0.57. Clinician-rated and self-reported symptoms were strongly related, Bs = 0.95 and 0.80 in the male and female samples, respectively. Among men, clinician-rated and self-reported reexperiencing and hyperarousal symptoms were associated only in younger veterans. Accurate assessment of PTSD symptoms in older adults is essential to identifying and implementing effective treatment. Our findings suggest that some symptoms may be lower in older men, and that some symptoms of PTSD may be underdetected in older women. Future research should assess the combined effect of gender and age on PTSD symptom presentation.
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