Correlates of posttraumatic stress disorder in forensic psychiatric outpatients in the Netherlands


  • Jens Henrichs,

    1. International Victimology Institute, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands
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  • Stefan Bogaerts

    Corresponding author
    1. International Victimology Institute, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Developmental, Clinical and Crosscultural Psychology, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands
    • International Victimology Institute Tilburg, Tilburg University, P.O. Box 90 153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands.
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Using a sample of 154 Dutch forensic psychiatric outpatients aged 18–62 years, this study investigated whether risk factors of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mainly identified in nonforensic research, forensic psychiatric factors, and potential comorbid mental disorders were associated with PTSD. Data on demographics, victimization during childhood or adolescence, and forensic psychiatric factors were derived from electronic medical records. Mental disorders were assessed using structured psychiatric interviews and consensus diagnoses were established during weekly case consultations. The PTSD rate was 75% in the sample. Whereas the PTSD group was significantly more likely to be older, female, not Dutch, and to have a history of victimization, previously perpetrated family violence, and lower psychosocial and occupational functioning than the non-PTSD group, the latter group had significantly higher rates of psychiatric history, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), antisocial personality disorder, drug abuse, and previous repeated nonfamily violence perpetration. Effect sizes ranged from Nagelkerke R2 = .04 for psychosocial and occupational functioning to Nagelkerke R2 = .70 for ADHD. This study demonstrated differences between those with and without PTSD in demographic, victim, forensic, and psychological characteristics. Future studies should examine the complexity between early victimization, delinquency patterns, and psychopathology regarding the prediction of PTSD among forensic psychiatric outpatients.