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PTSD with secondary psychotic features among trauma-affected refugees: The role of torture and depression

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This cross-sectional study examined the prevalence of PTSD with secondary psychotic symptoms (PTSD-SP), its comorbidities, and its association with torture and depression in treatment-seeking refugees. Data were pooled from the Danish Database on Refugees with Trauma (DART). The sample represents approximately 90% of trauma-affected refugee-patients (N = 627) attending a Danish psychiatric outpatient clinic from 2008 to 2013. PTSD, secondary psychotic symptoms, and comorbidities were assessed with structured and routine clinical interviews. The association of PTSD-SP with torture and depression was investigated using hierarchical logistic regression. The prevalence of PTSD-SP in treatment-seeking refugees with PTSD was 30%. Among these, 44% fulfilled the criteria for Enduring Personality Change After Catastrophic Experience (EPCACE). Psychotic symptoms comprised hallucinations and persecutory delusions, often reflecting trauma-related themes. Comorbidity with depression was high (79%). Neither torture, nor other war-trauma (ex-combatant, imprisonment, civilian war trauma) predicted PTSD-SP, but comorbid depression did. Depression only explained a small amount of the total PTSD-SP variance. Results indicate that PTSD-SP is common in treatment-seeking refugees. However, its etiology is poorly understood. This highlights the need for further research to improve diagnosis and treatment for this patient group.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112898
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume287
ISSN0165-1781
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Delusions, Hallucinations, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Psychosis

ID: 59533791