Prevalence of Potentially Traumatic Events, Other Life Events and Subsequent Reactions Indicative for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in the Netherlands: A General Population Study Based on the Trauma Screening Questionnaire

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Mar 6;17(5):1725. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17051725.


The 12-month and lifetime prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in different country populations has been assessed while using clinical interviews. Because this methodology is relatively time-consuming and resource-intensive, disaster health researchers adopted instruments, like the Trauma Screening Questionnaire (TSQ). This study (1) used the TSQ to estimate the lifetime prevalence of potentially traumatic events and other life events (PTE/OLEs) and the one-week prevalence of subsequent reactions indicative for PTSD (based on DSM-IV PTSD criteria) in The Netherlands and (2) investigated risk and protective factors for the development of PTSD to overcome the lack of baseline comparison data on general populations and subgroups. The data were derived from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study-2 (NEMESIS-2), a representative study in the Dutch general population aged 18 to 64 years (N = 6646), using face-to-face interviews. Logistic regression modeling was used to assess PTSD correlates. The lifetime PTE/OLE prevalence was 71.1%. Among exposed subjects, one-week PTSD prevalence was estimated at 2.0%. The correlates of PTSD were female gender, Moroccan, or Turkish ethnicity, and exposure to sexual abuse and exposure time less than four years ago. The results are discussed in relation to earlier 12-month and lifetime general population prevalence of PTSD in the Netherlands and other countries, and TSQ-based disaster studies. General population replications can provide additional TSQ baseline data, and shed light on exposure and PTSD prevalence assessed with different instruments.

Keywords: epidemiology; ethnicity; gender; posttraumatic stress disorder; prevalence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult