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Predictors of Treatment Response in Canadian Combat and Peacekeeping Veterans With Military-Related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Richardson, J. Don MD, FRCPC*†‡; Elhai, Jon D. PhD§; Sarreen, Jitender MD, FRCPC∥¶

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: September 2011 - Volume 199 - Issue 9 - p 639-645
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318229ce7b
Original Articles

Military-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a significant psychiatric condition associated with severe psychosocial dysfunction. This study examined the predictors of treatment outcome in a group of veterans with military-related PTSD. Participants were 102 Canadian combat and peacekeeping veterans who received treatment at a specialized outpatient clinic for veterans with psychiatric disorders resulting from military operation. Analysis demonstrated a significant decrease in PTSD severity during the 1-year period (Yuan-Bentler χ2 [86, N = 99] = 282.45, p < 0.001). We did not find chronicity, alcohol use, and anxiety or depression severity as significant predictors for PTSD symptom decline. However, initial depression significantly predicted anxiety symptom decline, and initial anxiety predicted depression symptom decline. This study demonstrated that, despite considerable comorbidity, significant treatment gains, including remission of PTSD, can be achieved in an outpatient setting in veterans with chronic military-related PTSD.

*Operational Stress Injury Clinic, St. Joseph's Health Care London-Parkwood Hospital, London, Ontario, Canada; †National Centre for Operational Stress Injuries, Veterans Affairs Canada, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; ‡Department of Psychiatry, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada; §Department of Psychology, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio; ∥Operational Stress Injury Clinic, Deer Lodge, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; and ¶Department of Psychiatry, The University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Dr. Richardson is a consultant for the National Centre for Operational Stress Injuries and for VA Canada.

The views expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Veterans Affairs Canada.

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Send reprint requests to J. Don Richardson, MD, FRCPC, Operational Stress Injury Clinic, Parkwood Hospital, St. Joseph's Health Care London, University of Western Ontario, 801 Commissioners Road East, London Ontario, N6C 5J1. E-mail:;

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.