Gender differences in associations between DSM-5 posttraumatic stress disorder symptom clusters and functional impairment in war veterans.
Understanding the links between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and functional impairment is essential for assisting veterans in transitioning to civilian life. Moreover, there may be differences between men and women in the relationships between PTSD symptoms and functional impairment. However, no prior studies have examined the links between functional impairment and the revised symptom clusters as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) or whether the associations between PTSD symptom clusters and functional impairment differ by gender. We examined the associations between the DSM-5 PTSD symptom clusters and functional impairment in 252 trauma-exposed Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans (79 females). Regression analyses included demographic factors and exposure to both combat and military sexual trauma as covariates. In the total sample, both the intrusions cluster (β = .18, p = .045) and the negative alterations in cognition and mood cluster (β = .45, p < .001) were associated with global functional impairment. Among male veterans, global functional impairment was associated only with negative alterations in cognition and mood (β = .52, p < .001). However, by contrast, among female veterans, only marked alterations in arousal and reactivity were associated with global functional impairment (β = .35, p = .027). These findings suggest that there may be important gender differences with respect to the relationship between PTSD symptoms and functional impairment. (PsycINFO Database Record
Meyer, EC; Konecky, B; Kimbrel, NA; DeBeer, BB; Marx, BP; Schumm, J; Penk, WE; Gulliver, SB; Morissette, SB
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