An Investigation of Treatment Engagement Among Returning Veterans With Problematic Anger

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Abstract

Anger is a commonly reported problem among returning veterans, yet little attention has been devoted to studying treatment engagement among veterans who report anger problems but do not have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study compares Iraq-Afghanistan veterans with anger/no PTSD (n = 159) to others reporting significant PTSD symptoms (n = 285) and those reporting neither anger nor PTSD (n = 716) on rates of treatment utilization, perceived barriers to treatment, and preferences for care. Relative to the PTSD group, the anger/no-PTSD group was significantly less likely to have received mental health treatment in the last year, despite endorsing barriers to treatment at a lower rate. Furthermore, the anger/no-PTSD group endorsed fewer preferences than the PTSD group. Results suggest that the anger/no-PTSD group is a unique subgroup that may be less likely to identify a need for treatment. Implications are discussed.

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