Treatment outcome in Australian veterans with combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder: a cause for cautious optimism?

J Trauma Stress. 1999 Oct;12(4):545-58. doi: 10.1023/A:1024702931164.


This study investigated treatment outcome in combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Participants were 419 Australian Vietnam veterans who completed a 12-week hospital-based program. A comprehensive protocol assessed PTSD, comorbidity, and social functioning at admission and at 3 and 9 months posttreatment. Overall, the group showed significant improvements in core PTSD symptoms, anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse, social dysfunction, and anger. Changes occurred mostly between admission and 3 months posttreatment, with gains maintained at 9 months. Ratings by patients and their partners indicated perceived improvement and strong satisfaction with treatment. Nevertheless, treatment gains were variable and, for most veterans, considerable pathology remained following the programs. The current study provides grounds for cautious optimism in the treatment of combat-related PTSD.

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Anger
  • Anxiety / complications
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Australia
  • Combat Disorders / diagnosis
  • Combat Disorders / psychology*
  • Combat Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / psychology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Behavior Disorders / complications
  • Social Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Veterans / psychology*