Posttraumatic stress disorder in the World Mental Health Surveys

Koenen, K. C., Ratanatharathorn, A., Ng, L., McLaughlin, K. A., Bromet, E. J., Stein, D. J., Karam, E. G., Meron Ruscio, A., Benjet, C., Scott, K., Atwoli, L., Petukhova, M., Lim, C. C.W., Aguilar-Gaxiola. S., Al-Hamzawi, A., Alonso, J., Bunting, B., Ciutan, M., de Girolamo, G., Degenhardt, L., Gureje, O., Haro, J. M., Huang, Y., Kawakami, N., Lee, S., Navarro-Mateu, F., Pennell, B.-E., Piazza, M., Sampson, N., ten Have, M., Torres, Y., Viana, M. C., Williams, D., Xavier, M. and Kessler, R. C. (2017) Posttraumatic stress disorder in the World Mental Health Surveys. Psychological Medicine, 1-15. doi:10.1017/S0033291717000708

Author Koenen, K. C.
Ratanatharathorn, A.
Ng, L.
McLaughlin, K. A.
Bromet, E. J.
Stein, D. J.
Karam, E. G.
Meron Ruscio, A.
Benjet, C.
Scott, K.
Atwoli, L.
Petukhova, M.
Lim, C. C.W.
Aguilar-Gaxiola. S.
Al-Hamzawi, A.
Alonso, J.
Bunting, B.
Ciutan, M.
de Girolamo, G.
Degenhardt, L.
Gureje, O.
Haro, J. M.
Huang, Y.
Kawakami, N.
Lee, S.
Navarro-Mateu, F.
Pennell, B.-E.
Piazza, M.
Sampson, N.
ten Have, M.
Torres, Y.
Viana, M. C.
Williams, D.
Xavier, M.
Kessler, R. C.
Title Posttraumatic stress disorder in the World Mental Health Surveys
Journal name Psychological Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0033-2917
Publication date 2017-04-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0033291717000708
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Traumatic events are common globally; however, comprehensive population-based cross-national data on
the epidemiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the paradigmatic trauma-related mental disorder, are lacking.

Methods: Data were analyzed from 26 population surveys in the World Health Organization World Mental Health
Surveys. A total of 71 083 respondents ages 18+ participated. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview assessed
exposure to traumatic events as well as 30-day, 12-month, and lifetime PTSD. Respondents were also assessed for treatment in the 12 months preceding the survey. Age of onset distributions were examined by country income level.
Associations of PTSD were examined with country income, world region, and respondent demographics.

Results: The cross-national lifetime prevalence of PTSD was 3.9% in the total sample and 5.6% among the trauma
exposed. Half of respondents with PTSD reported persistent symptoms. Treatment seeking in high-income countries
(53.5%) was roughly double that in low-lower middle income (22.8%) and upper-middle income (28.7%) countries.
Social disadvantage, including younger age, female sex, being unmarried, being less educated, having lower household
income, and being unemployed, was associated with increased risk of lifetime PTSD among the trauma exposed.

PTSD is prevalent cross-nationally, with half of all global cases being persistent. Only half of those with
severe PTSD report receiving any treatment and only a minority receive specialty mental health care. Striking disparities
in PTSD treatment exist by country income level. Increasing access to effective treatment, especially in low- and middleincome countries, remains critical for reducing the population burden of PTSD.
Keyword Epidemiology
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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Created: Tue, 11 Apr 2017, 14:36:32 EST by Carmen Lim on behalf of School of Public Health