PTSD relapse in Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan: A systematic review
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMilitary Psychology. 2020, 32 (4), 300-312. 10.1080/08995605.2020.1754123
This systematic review examines studies published between 2003, the initial invasion of Iraq, and 2018 related to the long-term treatment outcomes for Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). More specifically this review attempts to estimate the rate at which Veterans experience the return of symptoms after completing treatment. The review was conducted by the authors in accordance with the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. The literature search identified eight eligible studies, which met the predefined inclusion criteria. Of the included studies a majority were deemed to be at a high risk of attrition bias. In addition, few studies comprehensively reported relevant relapse or recurrence related outcome statistics. The implications of the available evidence base on long-term treatment outcomes are discussed. Recommendations for future studies on relapse and recurrence of PTSD symptoms among Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are also presented.