Subthreshold PTSD in primary care: prevalence, psychiatric disorders, healthcare use, and functional status.

The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of subthreshold posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its association with specific traumas, other psychiatric diagnoses, healthcare use, and functional status among 669 veterans in four VA Medical Centers. A cross-sectional, epidemiological design incorporating self-report measures, structured interviews, and chart reviews was used to obtain relevant information for analyses. Comparisons across three trauma-exposed groups (PTSD, subthreshold PTSD, no PTSD) revealed that veterans in the subthreshold PTSD group did not use mental health services more often than those in the no PTSD group despite the presence of additional mental health diagnoses and worse functional status. These data indicate that clinicians may be overlooking a subset of individuals suffering from subsyndromal PTSD, suggesting the need to detect and serve these individuals better within healthcare settings.