Clinical presentations in combat veterans diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder

J Clin Psychol. 2003 Mar;59(3):385-97. doi: 10.1002/jclp.10135.


This article investigated subtypes of symptom patterns among male combat veterans diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through a cluster analysis of their Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2; Butcher, Graham, Ben-Porath, Tellegen, Dahlstrom, & Kaemmer, 2001) clinical and validity scales. Participants were 126 veterans seeking outpatient treatment for combat-related PTSD at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Two well-fitting MMPI-2 cluster solutions (a four-cluster solution and a three-cluster solution) were evaluated with several statistical methods. A four-cluster solution was determined to best fit the data. Follow-up analyses demonstrated between-cluster differences on MMPI-2 "fake bad" scales and content scales, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI; Beck, Ward, Mendelson, Mock, & Erbaugh, 1961), Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES; Bernstein & Putnam, 1986), Mississippi Combat PTSD scale (M-PTSD; Keane, Caddall, & Taylor, 1988), and Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-1; Blake et al., 1990). Clusters also were different in disability-seeking status, employment status, and income. Implications for research and clinical practice using the MMPI-2 with combat veterans presenting with PTSD are briefly addressed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Disabled Persons / psychology
  • Employment
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / classification*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Veterans / psychology*