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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2013 Aug;48(8):1189-97. doi: 10.1007/s00127-012-0639-x. Epub 2012 Dec 27.

Analysis of the longitudinal course of PTSD in 716 survivors of 10 disasters.

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  • 1The VA North Texas Health Care System, Dallas, TX, USA. carol.north@utsouthwestern.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Identification of consistent predictors of the temporal course of PTSD has been hampered by non-uniform definitions of onset and remission. Onset and remission of PTSD based on different definitions were examined in a large database of systematically assessed disaster survivors.

METHODS:

Directly exposed survivors of 10 disasters were studied within approximately 3 months of the disasters and again 1-3 years later, using consistent methods including full diagnostic assessment, allowing aggregation of data from different disasters into a unified database of 716 survivors.

RESULTS:

Application of existing definitions of PTSD onset and remission uncovered problems with definitions based on diagnostic threshold as well as onset/remission of symptoms. Few predictors of timing of onset and PTSD remission were identified. Regardless, PTSD symptom group C was found to be pivotal to processes involved in both onset and remission of the disorder.

CONCLUSIONS:

Research findings related to the onset and remission of PTSD are highly dependent on the definition used. Both symptom-based and diagnostic threshold-based definitions are problematic. Definitions of the onset and remission of PTSD might be more effectively based on the onset and remission of group C symptoms.

PMID:
23269398
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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