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Is the stressor criterion dispensable?: a contribution to the criterion A debate from a Swiss sample of survivors of the 2004 tsunami


Kraemer, B; Wittmann, L; Jenewein, J; Maier, T; Schnyder, U (2009). Is the stressor criterion dispensable?: a contribution to the criterion A debate from a Swiss sample of survivors of the 2004 tsunami. Psychopathology, 42(5):333-336.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The stressor criterion (criterion A) in the DSM-IV diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is frequently questioned. To explore the clinical and diagnostic usefulness of criterion A, we examined its value in predicting and capturing PTSD symptom clusters (criteria B-D) in a sample of trauma survivors. METHOD: We studied 342 adult German-speaking Swiss tourists affected by the 2004 tsunami. We analyzed sensitivity and specificity, predictive value and variance explanation of criterion A for evoking PTSD criteria B-D. RESULTS: Sensitivity of criterion A for PTSD criteria B-D was 93.2%, while positive predictive value was 23.1%. Criterion A made a small, yet statistically significant contribution of 7.5% for PTSD symptom clusters B-D. CONCLUSION: The assessment of criterion A (A1 and A2) is not necessary for the identification of individuals suffering from PTSD symptoms according to DSM-IV. We suggest therefore that criterion A is a dispensable part of the diagnosis of PTSD.

BACKGROUND: The stressor criterion (criterion A) in the DSM-IV diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is frequently questioned. To explore the clinical and diagnostic usefulness of criterion A, we examined its value in predicting and capturing PTSD symptom clusters (criteria B-D) in a sample of trauma survivors. METHOD: We studied 342 adult German-speaking Swiss tourists affected by the 2004 tsunami. We analyzed sensitivity and specificity, predictive value and variance explanation of criterion A for evoking PTSD criteria B-D. RESULTS: Sensitivity of criterion A for PTSD criteria B-D was 93.2%, while positive predictive value was 23.1%. Criterion A made a small, yet statistically significant contribution of 7.5% for PTSD symptom clusters B-D. CONCLUSION: The assessment of criterion A (A1 and A2) is not necessary for the identification of individuals suffering from PTSD symptoms according to DSM-IV. We suggest therefore that criterion A is a dispensable part of the diagnosis of PTSD.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:22 Dec 2009 11:53
Last Modified:06 Jul 2016 15:37
Publisher:Karger
ISSN:0254-4962
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1159/000232976
PubMed ID:19672136
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-26144

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