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PTSD Clusters and Suicidal Ideation Examined

Psychiatry Res; ePub 2018 Sep 15; Brown, et al

All posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) factors significantly and positively correlated with suicidal ideation, and the negative alterations in cognitions and mood (NACM) and alterations in arousal and reactivity (AAR) PTSD clusters were most strongly associated with suicidal ideation. This according to a study that aimed to characterize the associations among suicidal ideation and these symptom clusters. Therefore, clinicians should be cautious to thoroughly screen patients with elevations on these PTSD cluster scores for suicide risk. Study 1 (n=346) and Study 2 (n=194) included community members and treatment-seeking adults at an anxiety specialty clinic, respectively. Participants completed measures of trauma exposure, PTSD symptoms, and suicidal ideation. Researchers found:

  • In both studies, suicidal ideation significantly and positively correlated with all PTSD factors.
  • In Study 1, Wald tests of parameter constraints indicated that NACM and AAR had the strongest associations with suicidal ideation, followed by intrusion and avoidance.
  • Results were replicated when restricting the sample to individuals with probable PTSD.
  • In Study 2, suicidal ideation significantly and positively correlated with all PTSD factors; there were no differences in the strength of the suicidal ideation-PTSD factors relations.

Brown LA, Contractor A, Benhamou K. Posttraumatic stress disorder clusters and suicidal ideation. [Published online ahead of print September 15, 2018]. Psychiatry Res. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2018.09.030.