December 7, 2015
A December 5 feature on the U.S. News & World Report website cited VA-funded research around the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Vietnam-era women Veterans.
Kathryn Magruder, PhD, an Associate Investigator with HSR&D's Charleston Health Equity and Rural Outreach Innovation Center, was the lead author of the investigation cited in the feature. Magruder and her colleagues surveyed 4,219 female Vietnam-era Veterans beginning in 2011, and results found that the prevalence of PTSD in these Veterans was higher than previously documented. Results also indicated that Vietnam service significantly increased the odds of PTSD relative to US service, and suggest long-lasting mental health effects of Vietnam-era service among women Veterans. In the article, Dr. Magruder noted that little is known about the wartime experiences of women Veterans of Vietnam, or the effects that PTSD will have on other health conditions as these women age. She also commented, "For some women, it was the first time they had spoken about any of these experiences."
The study was published in the November 2015 issue of JAMA Psychiatry, and was funded by VA's Office of Research and Development's Cooperative Studies Program. The following VA HSR&D investigators also participated in the study: Rachel Kimerling, PhD; Amy M. Kilbourne, PhD, Susan M. Frayne, MD, MPH, and Avron Spiro, PhD.