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Interpersonal trauma, war zone exposure, and posttraumatic stress disorder among veterans with schizophrenia.

Calhoun PS, Stechuchak KM, Strauss J, Bosworth HB, Marx CE, Butterfield MI. Interpersonal trauma, war zone exposure, and posttraumatic stress disorder among veterans with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research. 2007 Mar 1; 91(1-3):210-6.

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The present study examined the prevalence of war zone exposure, interpersonal trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans with primary schizophrenia hospitalized on a VA inpatient psychiatric unit. Data were collected on a sample of male veterans (N = 165) with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, who were consecutively admitted to a VAMC inpatient psychiatric unit. The prevalence of interpersonal trauma exposure and comorbid PTSD were assessed. Analyses also explored differences between those patients who had been identified with PTSD to those who screened positive but had not been previously identified as having PTSD. Ninety-six percent of the sample endorsed interpersonal trauma or exposure to a war zone. The prevalence of PTSD was 47% (n = 78), although only 14% (n = 11) of those who screened positive for PTSD had a diagnosis of PTSD in their medical record. Among those screening positive, having a chart diagnosis of PTSD was associated with more severe PTSD symptoms and combat exposure. Results suggest that PTSD is highly prevalent and under-diagnosed among veterans with schizophrenia. Increased assessment of trauma and PTSD in this population is warranted.

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