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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-35407

Abbas, C C; Schmid, J P; Guler, E; Wiedemar, L; Begré, S; Saner, H; Schnyder, U; von Känel, R (2009). Trajectory of posttraumatic stress disorder caused by myocardial infarction: a two-year follow-up study. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine (IJPM), 39(4):359-376.

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OBJECTIVE: A substantial proportion of patients develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following myocardial infarction (MI). Previous research on the trajectory over time of PTSD in post-MI patients is scant and refers to self-rated posttraumatic symptoms. The aim of this study was to investigate the longitudinal course of an interviewer-rated diagnosis of PTSD and PTSD symptom severity following MI. METHODS: Study participants were 40 patients (78% men, mean age 54 +/- 8 years) who were diagnosed with PTSD using the Clinician-administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) after an average of 5 +/- 4 months (range 2-16 months) following an index MI. After a mean follow-up of 26 +/- 6 months (range 12-36 months), 24 patients underwent a second diagnostic interview. RESULTS: Two-thirds of patients (n = 16) still qualified for a diagnosis of PTSD at follow-up. In all 24 patients, total PTSD symptoms (p = 0.001), re-experiencing symptoms (p < 0.001), avoidance symptoms (p = 0.015), and, with borderline significance, hyperarousal symptoms (p < 0.06) had all decreased over time. However, in the subgroup of the 16 patients who had retained PTSD diagnostic status at follow-up, symptoms of avoidance (p = 0.23) and of hyperarousal (p = 0.48) showed no longitudinal decline. Longer duration of follow-up was associated with a greater decrease in avoidance symptoms (p = 0.029) and, with borderline significance, in re-experiencing symptoms (p < 0.07) across all patients. CONCLUSION: Although PTSD symptomatology waned over time and in relation to longer follow-up, two-thirds of patients still qualified for a diagnosis of PTSD 2 years after the initial diagnosis. In post-MI patients, clinical PTSD is a considerably persistent condition.


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13 citations in Scopus®
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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
Deposited On:13 Aug 2010 15:12
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:13
Publisher DOI:10.2190/PM.39.4.b
PubMed ID:20391858

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