Posttraumatic stress disorder and quality of life: extension of findings to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

Clin Psychol Rev. 2009 Dec;29(8):727-35. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2009.08.006. Epub 2009 Aug 24.


The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan-Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, or OEF/OIF-have created unique conditions for promoting the development of psychological difficulties such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is an important outcome because it can affect quality of life, impairing psychosocial and occupational functioning and overall well-being. The literature on PTSD and quality of life in OEF/OIF Veterans is at an early stage, but the consistency of the evidence is striking. Our review indicates that the findings on PTSD and quality of life in OEF/OIF veterans are comparable to findings obtained from other war cohorts and from nonveterans as well. Even though the duration of PTSD in OEF/OIF Veterans is much shorter than in Vietnam Veterans, for example, those with PTSD in both cohorts are likely to experience poorer functioning and lower objective living conditions and satisfaction. The review ends with discussion of the implications of the evidence for research and clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Afghan Campaign 2001-
  • Combat Disorders / psychology
  • Humans
  • Iraq War, 2003-2011
  • Military Personnel / psychology
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Veterans / psychology*