Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms and Associated Comorbidity During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Ireland: A Population-Based Study

Thanos Karatzias, Mark Shevlin, Jamie Murphy, Orla McBride, Menachem Ben-Ezra, Richard P. Bentall, Frédérique Vallières, Philip Hyland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations

Abstract

The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as it relates to individuals’ experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to be determined. This study was conducted to determine rates of COVID-19–related PTSD in the Irish general population, the level of comorbidity with depression and anxiety, and the sociodemographic risk factors associated with COVID-19–related PTSD. A nationally representative sample of adults from the general population of the Republic of Ireland (N = 1,041) completed self-report measures of all study variables. The rate of COVID-19–related PTSD was 17.7% (n = 184), 95% CI [15.35%, 19.99%], and there was a high level of comorbidity with generalized anxiety (49.5%) and depression (53.8%). Meeting the diagnostic requirement for COVID-19–related PTSD was associated with younger age, male sex, living in a city, living with children, moderate and high perceived risk of COVID-19 infection, and screening positive for anxiety or depression. Posttraumatic stress symptoms related to the COVID-19 pandemic are common in the general population. Our results show that health professionals responsible for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic should expect to routinely encounter symptoms and concerns related to posttraumatic stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-370
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020

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