STUDY: Posttraumatic stress symptoms and associated comorbidity during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland: A population based study
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Description: The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as it relates to people’s experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to determined. This study was conducted to determine rates of COVID-19 related PTSD in the Irish general population, the level of comorbidity with depression and anxiety, and sociodemographic risk factors associated with COVID-19 related PTSD. A nationally representative sample of adults from the general population of the Republic of Ireland (N = 1,041) completed self-report measures of all study variables. The rate of COVID-19 related PTSD was 17.7% (95% CI = 15.35 - 19.99%: n=184), and comorbidity with generalized anxiety (49.5%) and depression (53.8%) was high. Meeting the diagnostic requirement for COVID-19 related PTSD was associated with younger age, male sex, living in a city, living with children, moderate and high perceived risk of COVID-19 infection, and screening positive for anxiety or depression. Traumatic stress problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic are common in the general population. Our results show that health professionals responsible for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic should expect to routinely encounter traumatic stress problems.