Disability and Quality of Life in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Impact of Drug Treatment
Dan J. Stein
The degree of functional disability and quality of life (QOL) impairment in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is at least comparable with, and in many instances greater than, that of patients with other anxiety and mood disorders. Multidimensional QOL assessments in PTSD have utility in capturing aspects of individual patient experience and satisfaction related to health and treatment, and have fairly robust sensitivity to treatment effects. Despite the growing number of epidemiological and clinical studies detailing QOL in PTSD, there are few studies of the impact of pharmacological agents on QOL outcomes, and none that have included an economic component to evaluate the resource consequences of the disorder. To date, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been shown to confer significant acute (and longer term) QOL and psychosocial benefits. Further investigation of the relationship of QOL to PTSD symptom severity, disability, treatment outcome and cost, among the different drug treatment modalities, is clearly needed.
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