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Br J Psychiatry. 2010 Oct;197(4):326-7. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.110.078824.

Evaluation of evidence for the psychotic subtyping of post-traumatic stress disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and Psychosocial Research Program, Butler Hospital, Providence 02906, USA.


Psychotic symptoms may occur in 15-64% of individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, suggesting that the syndrome could be subtyped in a similar fashion to mood disorders. In our study of 1800 psychiatric out-patients who completed comprehensive diagnostic interviews, the lifetime prevalence of psychotic symptoms in people with PTSD was 17% (odds ratio (OR) = 3.48, 95% CI 2.32-5.21). However, after excluding people with comorbid conditions also known to be associated with psychotic symptoms this dropped to only 2.5% (OR) = 0.60, 95% CI 0.08-4.52). In contrast, rates of psychotic major depression did not change after excluding these same comorbidities. Our results do not support the official psychotic subtyping of PTSD.

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