Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Clinical Outcomes Six Months After Receiving a PTSD Diagnosis in Veterans Health Administration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Because the mental health burden of PTSD among many racial and ethnic minority veterans is greater than among non-Latinx Whites (NLW) and there are disparities in VHA mental health treatment, we evaluated variations in clinical outcomes across veteran racial and ethnic groups in a large national cohort diagnosed with PTSD in VHA. This was a planned secondary analysis of patient-reported outcomes from a large prospective cohort study of veterans with PTSD. Veterans were surveyed immediately following a PTSD diagnosis and again 6 months later. Changes in PTSD symptoms and mental health quality of life were modeled using initial measures of these factors and demographic characteristics. Primary analyses modeled outcomes constructed from a sample restricted to veterans who initiated some mental health care in the 6-month follow-up period (n = 2,992). Additionally, outcomes were modeled using the full cohort of treatment initiators and noninitiators (n = 5,070). Sensitivity and post hoc analyses were used to examine robustness of our findings and to facilitate interpretability. Disparities in PTSD and mental health quality of life outcomes were observed for some racial and ethnic minority groups of veterans. Although improvements in PTSD symptoms and mental health quality of life have been highly associated in other studies, in this sample these outcomes were interrelated in complex ways across groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-594
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Services
Issue number4
Early online dateJul 13 2020
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Grant (IAC-06-266) awarded to the Michele Spoont. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States government. A portion of this work was presented as a poster at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, November 9–11, 2017, Chicago, Illinois

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Psychological Services. All Rights Reserved


  • PTSD
  • outcomes
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • race disparities
  • veterans
  • Minority Groups
  • Prospective Studies
  • United States
  • Veterans
  • Humans
  • Veterans Health
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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