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Prevalence, Comorbidity, and Prognosis of Mental Health Among US Veterans.

Trivedi RB, Post EP, Sun H, Pomerantz A, Saxon AJ, Piette JD, Maynard C, Arnow B, Curtis I, Fihn SD, Nelson K. Prevalence, Comorbidity, and Prognosis of Mental Health Among US Veterans. American journal of public health. 2015 Dec 1; 105(12):2564-9.

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OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the association of mental illnesses with clinical outcomes among US veterans and evaluated the effects of Primary Care-Mental Health Integration (PCMHI). METHODS: A total of 4?461?208 veterans were seen in the Veterans Health Administration's patient-centered medical homes called Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) in 2010 and 2011, of whom 1?147?022 had at least 1 diagnosis of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance use disorder (SUD), anxiety disorder, or serious mental illness (SMI; i.e., schizophrenia or bipolar disorder). We estimated 1-year risk of emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and mortality by mental illness category and by PCMHI involvement. RESULTS: A quarter of all PACT patients reported 1 or more mental illnesses. Depression, SMI, and SUD were associated with increased risk of hospitalization or death. PTSD was associated with lower odds of ED visits and mortality. Having 1 or more contact with PCMHI was associated with better outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Mental illnesses are associated with poor outcomes, but integrating mental health treatment in primary care may be associated with lower risk of those outcomes.

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