Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in First-Episode Psychosis: Prevalence and Related FactorsAuthor(s): Wafa Abdelghaffar, Uta Ouali, Rabaa Jomli, Yosra Zgueb, Fethi Nacef
Introduction: The experience of psychosis or related treatment can be conceptualized as a traumatic event, which might lead to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or PTSD syndrome (which is defined as the presence of PTSD symptoms irrespective of the DSM-IV criterion A definition of a traumatic event as an actual or threatened harm). Few studies explored the subject so far. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 52 clinically stabilized patients who were hospitalized for a first-psychotic episode during the two years preceding the study. Sociodemographic and clinical information were collected including past trauma history and drug and alcohol use. Patients were administered the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), the Major Depression Inventory (MDI), the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Global Assessment of Functioning scale (GAF), and the Brief COPE. Results: A total of 22 patients (42.3%) met full PTSD criteria and 36 patients (69.2%) met PTSD syndrome criteria. Full PTSD as well as PTSD syndrome were both associated with physical restraint, higher scores on the MDI and its maladaptive coping scales. The most distressing symptoms were paranoid delusions, and the most distressing treatment experiences involved physical restraint and problems with other hospitalized patients. Discussion/Conclusions: Our data showed high rates of psychosis-related PTSD. To prevent PTSD, conditions of hospitalization should be optimized and the use of coercive treatments should be limited. Subjects with recent-onset psychosis should be screened for PTSD symptoms. Improving coping abilities with a well-fitted therapy would be useful in these patients.