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Psychosomatics. 1996 Mar-Apr;37(2):137-43.

Identification of PTSD in cancer survivors.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, North Shore University Hospital-Cornell University Medical College, USA.


The authors measured the rate and determinants of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a group of cancer survivors. Patients who had a history of cancer diagnosis with at least 3 years since diagnosis, receiving no active treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation, were interviewed (N = 27). Patients, who were part of the DSM-IV PTSD field trial, were compared with a community-based control group matched for age and socioeconomic status. One member of the survivor group (4%) and no members of the control group met criteria for current PTSD (NS). Six of the survivors (22%) and no control subjects met lifetime criteria (P < 0.02). Cancer patients have a higher rate of PTSD than found in the community. Symptoms closely resemble those of individuals who have experienced other traumatic events.

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