Comparing the prevalence of probable DSM-IV and DSM-5 posttraumatic stress disorder in a sample of U.S. Military Veterans using the PTSD checklist
Abstract: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) changed substantially when Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders transitioned from fourth (DSM-IV) to fifth (DSM-5) edition. Hoge et al. found that although diagnostic prevalence remained consistent across nomenclatures, diagnostic concordance was low (55%). Study goals were to examine both the generalizability of these findings and whether either diagnosis systematically excluded patients. U.S. veterans (N = 1,171) who completed the PTSD Checklist for DSM-IV (PCL-S) and DSM-5 (PCL-5) were classified as: probable PTSD on both measures; probable PTSD on PCL-S only; probable PTSD on PCL-5 only; or no PTSD on either measure. Diagnostic prevalence was equivalent. Unlike Hoge et al.’s findings, diagnostic concordance was high (91.3%). Furthermore, observed demographic and severity differences were driven by disparities between veterans in the no PTSD versus the probable PTSD groups, not diagnostic changes. Findings suggest translatability across measures and that diagnostic changes do not systematically exclude patients.
Abstract:Military families face many unique challenges, including frequent separations, demanding work hours, and relocations. The HealthySteps (HS) program may offset these challenges utilizing the expertise of a nonclinical child development specialist called a HS specialist who offers enhanced well-child visits (WCVs), support between visits, and connections to community resources. Our study sought to identify the impact of the military HS pilot program on the timeliness of WCVs, immunizations, routine behavioural and developmental screenings, and referrals to community resources within the first 15 months of life (MOL). We retrospectively reviewed charts of 26 HS-enrolled and 26 randomly selected age-matched non-HS–enrolled children from age 2 to 15 MOL. Demographic variables obtained include child’s gender, child’s birth order, mother’s age, active duty parent’s rank classification, and active duty parent’s gender. We examined five outcomes measures aligning with the American Academy of Pediatrics health supervision, immunization, and screening recommendations and National Committee for Quality Assurance Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set measures: (1) completed six or more WCVs in the first 15 MOL, (2) completed developmental screening at the 9-month WCV, (3) up to date on vaccinations at 15 MOL, (4) completed three or more postpartum depression (PPD) screens in the first 6 MOL, and (5) the total number of documented referrals to community resources within the first 15 MOL. Chi-square analysis and independent t-tests were used to compare the groups. There was no statistical significance (P > .05) between the HS-enrolled and control groups for all five demographic variables. A significantly higher percentage of children in the HS-enrolled group received PPD screening compared to the control group (96% vs. 73.1%, P = .021). The HS-enrolled group had a higher mean number of community resource referrals at 15 MOL of 2.46 (SD = 1.14) vs. the control group with a mean of 0.19 (SD = 0.49). None of the other outcomes showed a statistically significant difference between groups. The results of this study indicate the positive impacts of the military HS program on referrals to community resources and PPD screening, reflecting the HS specialist focus on the family unit. Limitations of this study include the small population size and limited demographic information resulting from the retrospective nature of the study and pilot status of the HS program. Larger prospective studies are needed to clarify the true impact of the HS program in the military health system.