Patient journey before and after a formal post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis in adults in the United States - a retrospective claims study

Current Medical Research and Opinion, 2023


To describe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-related symptoms and frequent psychiatric comorbidities, treatments received, healthcare resource utilization (HRU), and healthcare costs pre- and post-PTSD diagnosis among adults in the United States.


Adults with PTSD who received a PTSD-related pharmacological treatment (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor [SSRI], serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor [SNRI], atypical antipsychotic [AA]) within 24 months of the first observed PTSD diagnosis (index date) were identified using MarketScan Commercial Database (2015-2020). Study outcomes were assessed during the 6-month pre-diagnosis and 24-month post-diagnosis periods. Subgroup analyses included patients treated or not treated with AAs post-PTSD diagnosis.


Of the overall patients (N = 26,306; mean age at diagnosis 39.5 years; 73.3% female), 85.9% had PTSD-related symptoms and frequent psychiatric comorbidities during the 6 months pre-diagnosis. Patients treated with AAs post-PTSD diagnosis (N = 9,298) tended to have higher rates of PTSD-related symptoms and comorbidities at diagnosis than those not treated with AAs (N = 7,011). Following diagnosis, the most commonly observed first-line treatments were SSRI (67.4%), AA (23.4%), and SNRI (22.6%). The rate of PTSD-related symptoms and comorbidities, psychotherapy and pharmacological treatments received, HRU, and healthcare costs increased during the 6 months post-diagnosis relative to the 6 months pre-diagnosis and then declined over time during the 24 months post-diagnosis.


The PTSD diagnosis was associated with increased rates of symptoms and frequent psychiatric comorbidities, psychotherapy and pharmacological treatments received, HRU, and healthcare costs, pointing to increased patient monitoring. Within 6 to 12 months after the PTSD diagnosis, these outcomes tended to reduce, perhaps as patients were obtaining targeted and effective care.

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Davis LL, Urganus A, Gagnon-Sanschagrin P, Maitland J, Qu W, Cloutier M, Guérin A, Aggarwal J