Publication date: March 2019
Source: Journal of Anxiety Disorders, Volume 62
Author(s): Ruud A. Jongedijk, Niels van der Aa, Joris F.G. Haagen, Paul A. Boelen, Rolf J. Kleber
Individuals diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) show remarkably different symptom presentations. Identification of diagnostic profiles of PTSD may contribute to knowledge about treatment modifications to enhance treatment effectiveness. The present study aimed to identify symptom severity classes among 236 Dutch veterans based on a broad range of psychopathology outcomes, including PTSD, using Latent Profile Analysis (LPA). Moreover, multinomial logistic regression was used to test whether class membership could be predicted by the number and characteristics of traumatic event types, coping and personality dimensions. LPA identified three classes of individuals, defined as average, severe, and highly severe symptom severity classes, respectively. No qualitative differences in the symptom dimensions emerged between classes. Veterans with higher amounts of traumatic experiences and specifically with regard to lack of basic human needs, as well as those using more avoidant and problem-focused coping strategies and with more dysfunctional personality characteristics regarding neuroticism and agreeableness were significantly more often in the severe and/or highly severe symptom classes. In conclusion, general symptom severity was found to be an important diagnostic characteristic in this population. Integrated treatments targeting the broad spectrum of mental health problems may be of importance in treating patients that show low therapeutic recovery.