Personal wellbeing in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Association with PTSD symptoms during and following treatment

Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC Psychology, 2018, 6 (1)
Issue Date:
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© 2018 The Author(s). Background: It remains unclear to what extent treatment-related gains in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms translate to improvements in broader domains of personal wellbeing, such as community connectedness, life achievement and security. We sought to determine whether: 1. personal wellbeing improves during the course of a treatment program and 2. changes in core symptom domains (PTSD, anxiety and depression) were associated with improvements in overall personal wellbeing. Methods: Participants (N=124) completed the PTSD Checklist, the Depression and Anxiety Stress Scales and the Personal Wellbeing Index at the start and end of a 4-week Trauma Focused CBT residential program, as well as 3- and 9-months post-treatment. Results: Personal wellbeing improved significantly across the 9-months of the study. Generalised estimating equations analyses indicated that (older) age and improvements in PTSD and depressive symptoms were independent predictors of personal wellbeing across time. Conclusions: Although personal wellbeing improved in tandem with PTSD symptoms, the magnitude of improvement was small. These findings highlight a need to better understand how improvements in personal wellbeing can be optimised following PTSD treatment.
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