Comorbid depressive symptoms in treatment-seeking PTSD outpatients affect multiple domains of quality of life

A X Araújo, William Berger, E S F Coutinho, Carla Marques-Portella, M P Luz, Mariana Cabizuca, Adriana Fiszman, Ivan Figueira, Mauro Vitor Mendlowicz
Comprehensive Psychiatry 2014, 55 (1): 56-63

PURPOSE: No study has examined the impact of the comorbid Axis I conditions on the quality of life (QoL) of patients with a primary diagnosis of PTSD. Our goal was to investigate the influence of comorbid disorders on the QoL of treatment-seeking outpatients with PTSD.

METHODS: The diagnoses of PTSD and of the comorbid disorders were established using the SCID-I. The 54 volunteers also completed the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist - Civilian Version, the BDI, the BAI, the Trauma History Questionnaire, and a socio-demographic questionnaire. Quality of life was assessed by means of the WHOQOL-BREF, a 26-item self-administered scale that measures four domains of QoL: psychological, physical, social, and environmental. Multiple linear regression models were fitted to investigate the relationship between the severity of post-traumatic, mood, and anxiety symptoms; the presence of specific current comorbid disorders and of psychotic symptoms, the number of current comorbid conditions, and a history of child abuse for each of the four domains of QoL, after adjusting for the effect of socio-demographic characteristics.

RESULTS: The severity of PTSD symptoms impacted negatively on the psychological and physical domains. The severity of depressive symptoms correlated negatively with QoL in all domains, independently of sex, age, occupation, and marital status. The psychotic symptoms impacted negatively on the environmental domain. A history of child abuse was negatively associated with the psychological and the social domains.

CONCLUSIONS: The severity of comorbid depressive symptoms is one of the most important factors in the determination of the QoL in patients with PTSD.

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