Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Symptom Subclusters as a Mediator of Self-Reported Somatic Health Among Individuals Exposed to Residential Fire
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Health outcomes following a traumatic event are an important aspect of recovery from any type of trauma. Further, distress and psychopathology, specifically Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), have been shown to have a significant impact on physical health recovery post-trauma. The current study utilized a sample of 56 (48 women, 8 men) residential fire survivors to examine the potential mediating effect of PTSD and PTSD symptom subclusters. Participants were interviewed four months after a residential fire and were assessed on levels of exposure to the fire (Fire Questionnaire & Resource Loss Scale), PTSD symptomology (Anxiety Disorder Interview Schedule), and somatic health complaints (Brief Symptom Inventory). Consistent with previous findings, PTSD was found to mediate the relationship between exposure to a traumatic event and reporting of health symptoms. Further, the increased arousal subcluster was found to mediate the aforementioned relationship; the avoidance symptom subcluster was found to partially mediate the same relationship. Implications of results of the current project are discussed with regard to the impact of trauma on survivorsâ health, along with recommendations for further research.
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