ICD-11 Prevalence Rates of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a German Nationwide Sample

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2018 Apr;206(4):270-276. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000790.


Prevalence rates are still lacking for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex PTSD (CPTSD) diagnoses based on the new ICD-11 criteria. In a nationwide representative German sample (N = 2524; 14-99 years), exposure to traumatic events and symptoms of PTSD or CPTSD were assessed with the International Trauma Questionnaire. A clinical variant of CPTSD with a lower threshold for core PTSD symptoms was also calculated, in addition to conditional prevalence rates dependent on trauma type and differential predictors. One-month prevalence rates were as follows: PTSD, 1.5%; CPTSD, 0.5%; and CPTSD variant, 0.7%. For PTSD, the highest conditional prevalence was associated with kidnapping or rape, and the highest CPTSD rates were associated with sexual childhood abuse or rape. PTSD and CPTSD were best differentiated by sexual violence. Combined PTSD and CPTSD (ICD-11) rates were in the range of previously reported prevalences for unified PTSD (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition; ICD-10). Evidence on differential predictors of PTSD and CPTSD is still preliminary.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Rape / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / classification
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult