PTSD symptom increases in Iraq-deployed soldiers: comparison with nondeployed soldiers and associations with baseline symptoms, deployment experiences, and postdeployment stress

J Trauma Stress. 2010 Feb;23(1):41-51. doi: 10.1002/jts.20487.


This prospective study examined: (a) the effects of Iraq War deployment versus non-deployment on pre- to postdeployment change in PTSD symptoms and (b) among deployed soldiers, associations of deployment/postdeployment stress exposures and baseline PTSD symptoms with PTSD symptom change. Seven hundred seventy-four U.S. Army soldiers completed self-report measures of stress exposure and PTSD symptom severity before and after Iraq deployment and were compared with 309 soldiers who did not deploy. Deployed soldiers, compared with non-deployed soldiers, reported increased PTSD symptom severity from Time 1 to Time 2. After controlling for baseline symptoms, deployment-related stressors contributed to longitudinal increases in PTSD symptoms. Combat severity was more strongly associated with symptom increases among active duty soldiers with higher baseline PTSD symptoms.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Iraq War, 2003-2011*
  • Male
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult