The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans: a meta-analysis

J Anxiety Disord. 2015 Apr:31:98-107. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2015.02.003. Epub 2015 Feb 19.


Literature on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) prevalence among Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans report estimates ranging from 1.4% to 60%. A more precise estimate is necessary for projecting healthcare needs and informing public policy. This meta-analysis examined 33 studies published between 2007 and 2013 involving 4,945,897 OEF/OIF veterans, and PTSD prevalence was estimated at 23%. Publication year and percentage of Caucasian participants and formerly active duty participants explained significant variability in prevalence across studies. PTSD remains a concern for a substantial percentage of OEF/OIF veterans. To date, most studies have estimated prevalence among OEF/OIF veterans using VA medical chart review. Thus, results generalize primarily to the prevalence of PTSD in medical records of OEF/OIF veterans who use VA services. Additional research is needed with randomly selected, representative samples administered diagnostic interviews. Significant financial and mental health resources are needed to promote recovery from PTSD.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Iraq; Meta-analysis; Posttraumatic stress disorder; Prevalence; Veterans.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Afghan Campaign 2001-*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Publication Bias
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Veterans / statistics & numerical data