A nine-month study on the course of COVID-19 related perceived post-traumatic stress disorder among Italian community-dwelling adults

Antonella Somma, Robert F. Krueger, Kristian E. Markon, Giulia Gialdi, Miriana Colanino, Danila Ferlito, Chiara Liotta, Andrea Fossati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study aimed to evaluate base rate estimates, course of, and psychopathology and personality risk factors for COVID-19-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in community-dwelling adults during the pandemic. 203 participants from a sample of 811 Italian community-dwelling adults agreed to participate in a nine-month, three-wave (Wave 1: March 2020; Wave 2: June 2020; Wave 3: December 2020) longitudinal study. Participants in the longitudinal study did not differ from the cross-sectional original sample on age, gender, civil status, educational level, occupation, and Italian area of residence. At each wave, participants were administered the PTSD scale of the International Trauma Questionnaire (ITQ), DSM-5 measures of acute stress, dissociation, depression and anxiety, as well as a maladaptive personality domain measure at Wave 1. Participants were instructed to answer to the ITQ items based only on COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures. The point prevalence estimates of COVID-19 related PTSD at each wave ranged from 11% to 13%; however, up to roughly 23% of our participants experienced clinically relevant PTSD features during nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. Multiple logistic regression results showed that experiencing internalizing symptoms (i.e., mostly acute stress) and selected personality features (i.e., Negative Affectivity and Psychoticism) at Wave 1 represent risk factors for PTSD symptoms at later waves. These findings extend previous knowledge on COVID-19 related PTSD and support the need for preventive and treatment interventions for PTSD during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-151
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Community-dwelling participants
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Internalizing symptoms
  • Longitudinal study
  • Maladaptive personality domains

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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