Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms and Associated Comorbidity During the COVID‐19 Pandemic in Ireland: A Population‐Based Study

Thanos Karatzias, M Shevlin, Jamie Murphy, Orla McBride, Menachem Ben-Ezra, Richard Bentall, F Vallieres, Philip Hyland

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The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as it relates to individuals’ experiences of the COVID‐19 pandemic has yet to be determined. This study was conducted to determine rates of COVID‐19–related PTSD in the Irish general population, the level of comorbidity with depression and anxiety, and the sociodemographic risk factors associated with COVID‐19–related PTSD. A nationally representative sample of adults from the general population of the Republic of Ireland (N = 1,041) completed self‐report measures of all study variables. The rate of COVID‐19–related PTSD was 17.7% (n = 184), 95% CI [15.35%, 19.99%], and there was a high level of comorbidity with generalized anxiety (49.5%) and depression (53.8%). Meeting the diagnostic requirement for COVID‐19–related PTSD was associated with younger age, male sex, living in a city, living with children, moderate and high perceived risk of COVID‐19 infection, and screening positive for anxiety or depression. Posttraumatic stress symptoms related to the COVID‐19 pandemic are common in the general population. Our results show that health professionals responsible for responding to the COVID‐19 pandemic should expect to routinely encounter symptoms and concerns related to posttraumatic stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-370
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Issue number4
Early online date13 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • COVID-19
  • posttraumatic stress disorder;
  • risktors; pandemic.-factors;
  • pandemic.


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