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New Model Helps Predict Patients Likely to Develop PTSD

Clinical assessment plus gender, education, trauma history predict PTSD likelihood

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MONDAY, Jan. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new model can predict the likelihood that an individual will develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) nine to 15 months following a traumatic event, according to a study published online Jan. 2 in World Psychiatry.

Arieh Y. Shalev, M.D., from the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues assessed data for 2,473 civilian trauma survivors admitted to acute care. An initial clinical assessment was completed within 60 days of trauma exposure, and participants completed at least one follow-up assessment four to 15 months later.

The researchers found that the prevalence of follow-up PTSD was 11.8 percent (9.2 percent for male participants and 16.4 percent for female participants). A model based on early PTSD symptom severity accurately predicted estimates of follow-up PTSD. Even higher PTSD likelihood estimates with similar overall accuracy were achieved by adding respondents' female gender, lower education, and exposure to prior interpersonal trauma to the model.

"Early symptom severity has shown to be a major predictor of PTSD risk, so enhanced evaluation provides a valid warning and a call for action," Shalev said in a statement. "We hope that quantifying individuals' PTSD risk will be a first step toward systematic prevention of the disorder."

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