Predictors of PTSD symptoms in response to psychosis and psychiatric admission

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2009 Jan;197(1):56-60. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31819273a8.


The experiences of psychosis and psychiatric admission have the potential to act as events precipitating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Known risk factors for the development of PTSD symptoms in adults were identified. These included childhood trauma, current psychiatric symptoms, perceived coercion, and relationships with mental health service providers. These factors were analyzed to determine if they were important in the development of PTSD symptoms in response to psychosis and admission. We used a cross-sectional design with a sample of 47 participants recruited from a service in Northern Ireland who had experienced psychosis and been discharged from inpatient treatment within 12 months of data collection. The main outcome measure was the impact of events scale-revised. Data was subject to correlation analyses. A cut-off point of r = +/- 0.25 was used to select variables for inclusion in hierarchical regression analyses. Forty-five percent and 31% of the sample had moderate to severe PTSD symptoms related to psychosis and admission, respectively. The majority of participants identified positive symptoms and the first admission as the most distressing aspects of psychosis and admission. Childhood sexual and physical traumas were significant predictors of some PTSD symptoms. Strong association was found between current affective symptoms and PTSD symptoms. A reduced sense of availability of mental health service providers was also associated with PTSD symptoms and depression. Awareness of risk factors for the development of PTSD symptoms in response to admission and psychosis raises important issues for services and has implications for interventions provided.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual
  • Coercion
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / etiology
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / complications
  • Prevalence
  • Psychotic Disorders / complications*
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Psychotic Disorders / therapy*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology