Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on neuropsychological performance of returning Veterans. Method: Data were utilized from 138 returning Veterans who were either diagnosed with or without PTSD and who had completed a neuropsychological evaluation. Results: A 2 x 2 analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) of the General Memory Index (GMI) scores of the Wechsler Memory Scale III with age as a covariate and PTSD group (PTSD vs. non-PTSD) and depressive classifications (depressed vs. not depressed) as between subject variables was conducted. A main effect of PTSD, F(1, 333) = 4.01, p = .05, demonstrated that GMI scores were higher in the PTSD (M = 97.48) compared with the non-PTSD group (M = 92.48). A significant main effect of depression was uncovered, F(1, 133) = 9.36, p < .01 with depressed Veterans (M = 90.72) demonstrating lower scores compared with non-depressed veterans (M = 98.08). A significant interaction between depression and PTSD group, F(1, 133) = 4.75, p < .05 was noted. In follow-up contrasts, GMI scores were significantly lower in non-PTSD Veterans with depression (M = 85.92) compared with PTSD Veterans with depression, t(80) = 3.87, p < .001. Conclusion(s): These results suggest that depressive symptoms may have less of an effect on neuropsychological performance in Veterans with PTSD. These results highlight the importance of considering depressive symptoms when assessing neuropsychological performance in Veterans and may have implications for the development of specific treatment strategies as well as future studies.

Between-Subjects Factors 
 Value Label 
depression_group .00 T < 65 71 
1.00 T > 65 67 
PTSD_NUM .00 noptsd 82 
1.00 Ptsd 56 
Between-Subjects Factors 
 Value Label 
depression_group .00 T < 65 71 
1.00 T > 65 67 
PTSD_NUM .00 noptsd 82 
1.00 Ptsd 56 
Descriptive Statistics 
Dependent Variable: WMS_gen_mem 
depression_group PTSD_NUM Mean Std. Deviation 
T < 65 noptsd 97.61 14.029 46 
ptsd 98.96 11.171 25 
Total 98.08 13.028 71 
T > 65 noptsd 85.92 12.982 36 
ptsd 96.29 14.328 31 
Total 90.72 14.486 67 
Total noptsd 92.48 14.706 82 
ptsd 97.48 12.970 56 
Total 94.51 14.194 138 
Descriptive Statistics 
Dependent Variable: WMS_gen_mem 
depression_group PTSD_NUM Mean Std. Deviation 
T < 65 noptsd 97.61 14.029 46 
ptsd 98.96 11.171 25 
Total 98.08 13.028 71 
T > 65 noptsd 85.92 12.982 36 
ptsd 96.29 14.328 31 
Total 90.72 14.486 67 
Total noptsd 92.48 14.706 82 
ptsd 97.48 12.970 56 
Total 94.51 14.194 138 
Tests of Between-Subjects Effects 
Dependent Variable: WMS_gen_mem 
Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square Sig. Partial Eta Squared 
Corrected Model 4954.388a 1238.597 7.274 .000 .179 
Intercept 179475.369 179475.369 1053.961 .000 .888 
Age 1260.949 1260.949 7.405 .007 .053 
depression_group 1594.528 1594.528 9.364 .003 .066 
PTSD_NUM 682.902 682.902 4.010 .047 .029 
depression_group * PTSD_NUM 808.175 808.175 4.746 .031 .034 
Error 22648.105 133 170.287    
Total 1260166.000 138     
Corrected Total 27602.493 137     
Tests of Between-Subjects Effects 
Dependent Variable: WMS_gen_mem 
Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square Sig. Partial Eta Squared 
Corrected Model 4954.388a 1238.597 7.274 .000 .179 
Intercept 179475.369 179475.369 1053.961 .000 .888 
Age 1260.949 1260.949 7.405 .007 .053 
depression_group 1594.528 1594.528 9.364 .003 .066 
PTSD_NUM 682.902 682.902 4.010 .047 .029 
depression_group * PTSD_NUM 808.175 808.175 4.746 .031 .034 
Error 22648.105 133 170.287    
Total 1260166.000 138     
Corrected Total 27602.493 137     

a. R Squared = .179 (Adjusted R Squared = .155)