ICD-11 Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD (CPTSD) in Treatment Seeking Veterans: Risk factors and comorbidity

Dominic Murphy, Thanos Karatzias, Walter Busuttil, Neil Greenberg, M Shevlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose Emerging evidence suggests that ICD-11 CPTSD is a more common condition than PTSD in treatment seeking samples although no study has explored risk factors and comorbidities of PTSD and CPTSD in veteran populations. In this study risk factors and comorbidity between veterans meeting criteria for PTSD or CPTSD using the ICD-11 International Trauma Questionnaire (ITQ) were explored.
Methods A sample of help-seeking veterans who had been diagnosed with a mental health difficulty (n=177) was recruited. Participants completed a range of mental health and functioning measures. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was conducted to explore differences in the above factors between participants meeting case criteria for PTSD, CPTSD or another mental health disorder.
Results Those with CPTSD appeared to have taken longer to seek help, reported higher rates of childhood adversity and more experiences of emotional or physical bullying during their military careers. Further, participants with CPTSD reported a greater burden of co-morbid mental health difficulties including high levels of dissociation, anger, difficulties related to moral injury and common mental health difficulties and greater degree of impairment including social isolation, sleep difficulties and impaired functioning.
Conclusions Considering that CPTSD is a more debilitating condition than PTSD, there is now an urgent need to test the effectiveness of new and existing interventions in veterans with CPTSD. 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1289-1298
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number7
Early online date19 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by a grant award by the Forces in Mind Trust.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Springer-Verlag GmbH, DE part of Springer Nature.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • PTSD
  • Complex PTSD
  • ICD-11
  • veterans
  • military
  • trauma
  • Veterans
  • Trauma
  • Military
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/diagnosis


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