Objective cognitive impairment and subjective cognitive problems in veterans initiating psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder: An exploratory study

Maya E. O’Neil, Benjamin Laman-Maharg, Paula P. Schnurr, Kathleen F. Carlson, Elizabeth W. Twamley, Carolyn Peterson, Daniel Storzbach, Mark Helfand, Nina A. Sayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The prevalence of cognitive impairment in Veterans initiating an evidence-based psychotherapy (EBP) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not yet established and has implications for service delivery. Our objectives were to (1) describe the type, severity, and prevalence of objective cognitive impairment and subjective cognitive problems experienced by Veterans at the time they began an EBP for PTSD and (2) determine whether assessments of objective cognitive impairment and subjective cognitive problems agree. We conducted objective and subjective (self-report) cognitive assessments in a sample of 38 Veterans initiating EBP for PTSD at one Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Thirty Veterans produced valid assessments. Almost half (14/30) of the participants demonstrated objective impairment in one or more cognitive domains, primarily in the areas of learning, memory, and processing speed. Almost all (29/30) participants endorsed moderate or greater cognitive problems on at least one self-report measure. After adjustment for multiple comparisons, there were no significant correlations between objective and subjective assessments. Objective cognitive impairment and subjective cognitive problems are common in Veterans beginning an EBP for PTSD. Longitudinal research on a larger sample is warranted to better understand relationships among subjective cognitive problems, objective cognitive impairment, and PTSD treatment participation and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-254
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Neuropsychology:Adult
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by an Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality-funded PCOR K12 award to M.E.O. (#K12HS022981) and a Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Center of Innovation grant, Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care, Award #CIN 13–404. This material is the result of work supported with resources and the use of facilities at the Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System, Portland, Oregon. The contents do not represent the views of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government. The corresponding author (M.E. O’Neil) declares she had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by an Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality-funded PCOR K12 award to M.E.O. (#K12HS022981) and a Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Center of Innovation grant, Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care, Award #CIN 13?404. This material is the result of work supported with resources and the use of facilities at the Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System, Portland, Oregon. The contents do not represent the views of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government. The corresponding author (M.E. O?Neil) declares she had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • Cognitive symptoms
  • PTSD
  • cognitive therapies
  • evidence based practice
  • exposure therapies
  • neuropsychology
  • veterans

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Objective cognitive impairment and subjective cognitive problems in veterans initiating psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder: An exploratory study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this