The risk factors of Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms (PTSS) and depressive symptoms have been well-established, but whether the network structure of their symptoms changes over time remains unclear. This study aims to examine the six-year changes of network structure of PTSS and depressive symptoms among Wenchuan earthquake adult survivors in China.
In this pooled cross-sectional study, respondents were sampled from the same population at each of the five waves (N = 1343, 1205, 1177, 1376, and 1339). The network structure of them was investigated using network analyses.
The study shows network connections stable across waves were the positive connections between hyperarousal and intrusions, hyperarousal and somatic symptoms, and two dimensions of positive effects. Stable negative connections were those between depressed affects and positive effects, avoidance and depressed affects, avoidance with interpersonal symptoms and avoidance with somatic symptoms. Across waves, fearful emotion consistently was the strongest bridge symptom connecting with PTSS symptoms. However, for PTSS the strongest bridge symptom varied across time as it was avoidance in wave 1 but were hyperarousal in other four waves.
This study was based on a pooled cross-sectional survey, which inhibits conclusions regarding causal influences between symptoms at the individual patient level.
The network structure of PTSS and depressive symptoms was partly stable, yet also varied across survey waves. Core symptom clusters for PTSS and depressive symptoms were avoidance and depressed affect, respectively. The central role of these clusters in PTSS and depressive symptoms has important implications to future psychiatric programs.
- EVENT SCALE
- Network analysis
- PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES
- Posttraumatic stress symptoms
- WENCHUAN EARTHQUAKE
- Wenchuan earthquake