More than military sexual trauma: interpersonal violence, PTSD, and mental health in women veterans

Res Nurs Health. 2011 Dec;34(6):457-67. doi: 10.1002/nur.20453. Epub 2011 Sep 6.


Military sexual trauma (MST) is reported by 20-40% of female veterans. The purpose of this study of female veterans referred for MST treatment was to examine the relationships between lifetime trauma (physical, sexual, and psychological) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, physical health, and quality of life using retrospective cross-sectional data from medical records. Of the 135 participants, 95.4% reported at least one trauma in addition to MST, most notably sexual abuse as adult civilians (77.0%) and as children (52.6%). PTSD, depression, and sleep difficulty rates were clinically significant. Chronic pain (66.4%) was associated with childhood abuse, physical health, sleep difficulties, and coping. Integrating mental and physical health treatment is necessary to treat MST and PTSD in female veterans.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Dissociative Disorders / diagnosis
  • Dissociative Disorders / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Mental Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Military Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Offenses / psychology
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Veterans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Women's Health
  • Young Adult