Project VALOR: design and methods of a longitudinal registry of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in combat-exposed Veterans in the Afghanistan and Iraqi military theaters of operations

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Few studies have investigated the natural history of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Project VALOR (Veterans' After-discharge Longitudinal Registry) was designed as a longitudinal patient registry assessing the course of combat-related PTSD among 1600 male and female Veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan or Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Aims of the study include investigating patterns and predictors of progression or remission of PTSD and treatment utilization. The study design was based on recommendations from the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research for longitudinal disease registries and used a pre-specified theoretical model to select the measurement domains for data collection and interpretation of forthcoming results. The registry will include 1200 male and female Veterans with a recent diagnosis of PTSD in the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) electronic medical record and a comparison group of 400 Veterans without a medical record-based PTSD diagnosis, to also allow for case-control analyses. Data are collected from administrative databases, electronic medical records, a self-administered questionnaire, and a semi-structured diagnostic telephone interview. Project VALOR is a unique and timely registry study that will evaluate the clinical course of PTSD, psychosocial correlates, and health outcomes in a carefully selected cohort of returning OEF/OIF Veterans. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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