The structure of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder according to DSM-5 and assessed by PDS-5 – preliminary results
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Submission date: 2014-12-18
Final revision date: 2015-02-08
Acceptance date: 2015-02-10
Online publication date: 2015-03-06
Publication date: 2015-03-31
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2015;3(1):1-11
The structure of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms has been studied and discussed since the introduction of PTSD as a diagnostic entity in the DSM-III (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III) in 1980. Many studies supported a four-factor or a five-factor models, both inconsistent with DSM-IV. It is unclear whether current DSM-5 criteria appropriately reflect the empirical structure of PTSD symptoms.

Participants and procedure
In this study the structure of PTSD symptoms was examined by confirmatory factor analysis conducted on the data obtained from 388 individuals (150 males and 239 females aged 18-83) who experienced a traumatic event and completed the PDS-5 (Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale-5), a self-report scale according to the DSM-5 criteria.

Fitting of different models based on DSM-IV, DSM-5 and other the most common four- and five-factor conceptualizations of PTSD symptoms structure was examined. The data analyses demonstrated the best fit of the six-factor model based on the conceptualization of Elhai et al. (2011) with the additional factor of negative cognitions and mood.

The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria do not reflect the empirical PTSD symptom structure. The data suggest also that it is reasonable to separate the core PTSD symptoms from broad PTSD symptomatology.
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