A Study of Quality of Life in Patients Suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Comparison to Patients Suffering from Major Depressive Disorder

Sheikh-Ahmad A, Muhammad-Firdosi M, Rather YH, Margoob MA, Bashir N


Introduction: There has been a growing interest in the knowledge about how post traumatic stress disorder affects functioning and the quality of life (QoL). This has been prompted by the concerns about the survivors of current wars and disasters, man-made and natural. Kashmir has witnessed both political conflict and natural disasters over the last three decades.

Aims: This study was undertaken to compare the quality of life in patients suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with those suffering from major depression (MDD). It was hypothesized that patients with PTSD have a lower quality of life, compared to those with MDD.

Methods: 100 consecutive patients with the diagnosis of PTSD and a matched group of 100 patients with MDD as comparison group attending the outpatients, of Psychiatric Diseases Hospital Srinagar were recruited. All diagnoses were based on DSM IV TR diagnostic criteria. World Health Organization Quality Of Life - BREF (WHOQOL-BREF) questionnaire was used to compare the quality of life in both groups. The WHOQOL-BREF instrument comprises 26 items, which measure the following broad domains: physical health, psychological health, social relationships, and environment.

Results: A comparison of mean scores on overall quality of life, general health and four domains of health between two groups revealed that the patients with PTSD scored consistently lower on physical, psychological, social and environmental parameters of health, than the MDD group with the difference being statistically significant.

Conclusion: Our study shows a significantly lower quality of life, in different domains, in PTSD patients as compared to MDD. The lower QoL could be due to comorbidity, exposure to recurrent traumatic events and lack of rehabilitative provisions. Presence of comorbidity in the PTSD group was a potential limitation which needs to be MJP Online Early MJP-02-10-14 studied further. Further work is needed to explore this subject taking into account the potential confounding factors.

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PTSD; MDD; Comorbidity; Quality of Life QoL; Trauma; Conflict

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