Psychiatric Comorbidity Pattern in Treatment-Seeking Veterans
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This study investigated comorbidity patterns in treatment-seeking veterans and currently-serving Canadian Forces members of an outpatient mental health clinic from September 2006-September 2014. Using a retrospective cohort design, latent class analysis was conducted to determine latent classes of comorbidity (including posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], major depressive disorder [MDD], generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and alcohol use disorder [AUD]). Multiple logistic regression was used to determine which covariates (age, gender, number of deployments, and service duration) were predictors of latent class membership. Among the 486 participants, 79.2% had more than one probable mental health condition. The most common comorbidity was PTSD and MDD (61.5%), followed by PTSD and GAD (52.3%). Among those with PTSD, almost all (95%) had a subsequent condition, predominantly MDD (82.6% of those with PTSD had MDD). A two-class model was the best fitting model with a high comorbidity and a low comorbidity class. Older age and shorter service duration significantly increased the probability of being in the high comorbidity class when not controlling for member status. Results showed that treatment-seeking veterans and military personnel have high rates of comorbidity, particularly alongside PTSD. Therefore, it is critical for clinicians to be able to assess and treat comorbidity.