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Keywords:

  • trauma;
  • military sexual trauma;
  • child sexual abuse;
  • child physical abuse;
  • child emotional abuse;
  • intimate partner violence;
  • physical abuse;
  • cumulative trauma;
  • female veterans;
  • posttraumatic stress disorder;
  • health

Abstract

Military sexual trauma (MST) is reported by 20–40% of female veterans. The purpose of this study of female veterans referred for MST treatment was to examine the relationships between lifetime trauma (physical, sexual, and psychological) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, physical health, and quality of life using retrospective cross-sectional data from medical records. Of the 135 participants, 95.4% reported at least one trauma in addition to MST, most notably sexual abuse as adult civilians (77.0%) and as children (52.6%). PTSD, depression, and sleep difficulty rates were clinically significant. Chronic pain (66.4%) was associated with childhood abuse, physical health, sleep difficulties, and coping. Integrating mental and physical health treatment is necessary to treat MST and PTSD in female veterans. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 34:457–467, 2011