Posttraumatic stress disorder is now well known to occur among Vietnam combat veterans. The interest in this diagnosis may have caused an unintentional neglect of veterans with problems that do not meet the strict criteria of DSM-III for this disorder. The authors studied 300 Vietnam veterans admitted to a general hospital to determine their level of symptomatology and to gather data on this previously unstudied group. More than 75 percent of the sample were medical-surgery patients; about 50 percent had high levels of depression and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, or both. Combat veterans were considerably more symptomatic; more than 50 percent of the patients with the highest levels of combat activity were on nonpsychiatric wards. The authors suggest the need to identify Vietnam veterans on medical and surgical wards. Reluctance to talk about war experience makes Vietnam veterans a group likely to be overlooked.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health