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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Evidence of distinct profiles of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) based on the new ICD-11 Trauma Questionnaire (ICD-TQ)

Thanos Karatzias, Mark Shevlin, Claire Fyvie, Philip Hyland, Erifili Efthymiadou, Danielle Wilson, Neil Roberts, Jonathan I Bisson, Chris R Brewin, Marylene Cloitre
Journal of Affective Disorders 2017 January 1, 207: 181-187
27723542

BACKGROUND: The WHO International Classification of Diseases, 11th version (ICD-11), has proposed two related diagnoses following exposure to traumatic events; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD (CPTSD). We set out to explore whether the newly developed ICD-11 Trauma Questionnaire (ICD-TQ) can distinguish between classes of individuals according to the PTSD and CPTSD symptom profiles as per ICD-11 proposals based on latent class analysis. We also hypothesized that the CPTSD class would report more frequent and a greater number of different types of childhood trauma as well as higher levels of functional impairment. Methods Participants in this study were a sample of individuals who were referred for psychological therapy to a National Health Service (NHS) trauma centre in Scotland (N=193). Participants completed the ICD-TQ as well as measures of life events and functioning.

RESULTS: Overall, results indicate that using the newly developed ICD-TQ, two subgroups of treatment-seeking individuals could be empirically distinguished based on different patterns of symptom endorsement; a small group high in PTSD symptoms only and a larger group high in CPTSD symptoms. In addition, CPTSD was more strongly associated with more frequent and a greater accumulation of different types of childhood traumatic experiences and poorer functional impairment.

LIMITATIONS: Sample predominantly consisted of people who had experienced childhood psychological trauma or been multiply traumatised in childhood and adulthood.

CONCLUSIONS: CPTSD is highly prevalent in treatment seeking populations who have been multiply traumatised in childhood and adulthood and appropriate interventions should now be developed to aid recovery from this debilitating condition.

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