The factor structure of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been widely researched, but consensus regarding the exact number and nature of factors is yet to be reached. The aim of the current study was to systematically review the extant literature on PTSD's latent structure in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in order to identify the best-fitting model. One hundred and twelve research papers published after 1994 using confirmatory factor analysis and DSM-based measures of PTSD were included in the review. In the DSM-IV literature, four-factor models received substantial support, but the five-factor Dysphoric arousal model demonstrated the best fit, regardless of gender, measurement instrument or trauma type. The recently proposed DSM-5 PTSD model was found to be a good representation of PTSD's latent structure, but studies analysing the six- and seven-factor models suggest that the DSM-5 PTSD factor structure may need further alterations.
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Systematic review
- Confirmatory factor analysis