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Combat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Quality of Life

Do Somatic Comorbidities Matter?

Kovačić Petrović, Zrnka, MD, PhD*; Peraica, Tina, MA; Eterović, Marija, MD; Anđelinović, Maja, MA; Kozarić-Kovačić, Dragica, MD, PhD§

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: February 2019 - Volume 207 - Issue 2 - p 53–58
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000928
Original Articles

A vast number of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have chronic somatic comorbidities. However, their relationship with quality of life (QoL) has received little attention. We aimed to compare QoL of veterans with similar intensity of PTSD but different number of chronic somatic disorders. Of 129 veterans, 78% had at least one somatic disorder, and they reported lower QoL across all domains than veterans without somatic comorbidities. The greatest effect size was observed on social relationship (d = 0.65), it was notable on environment (d = 0.4) and psychological health (d = 0.38), and it was not relevant on physical health (d = 0.05). There was a negative correlation between the number of somatic disorders and scores on psychological health (rs = −0.217, p = 0.014), social relationships (rs = −0.248, p = 0.005), and environment (rs = −0.279, p = 0.001). The QoL of war veterans decreases significantly with the number of comorbid somatic conditions, particularly on the nonphysical domains of QoL.

*University of Zagreb School of Medicine, University Psychiatric Hospital Vrapce;

Department of Psychiatry, Referral Centre for the Stress Related Disorders of Ministry of Health of Croatia, University Hospital Dubrava;

Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Croatia, Zagreb; and

§Department of Forensic Sciences, University of Split, Split, Croatia.

Zrnka Kovačić Petrović and Tina Peraica contributed equally to this work.

Send reprint requests to Tina Peraica, MA, Department of Psychiatry, Referral Centre for the Stress Related Disorders Ministry of Health of Croatia, University Hospital Dubrava, Avenija Gojka Suska 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia. E-mail:

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