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Prevalence, incidence and determinants of PTSD and other mental disorders: design and methods of the PID-PTSD+3 study

Authors

  • Hans-Ulrich Wittchen,

    1. Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and Centre of Epidemiology and Longitudinal Studies (CELOS), Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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    • Hans-Ulrich Wittchen and Sabine Schönfeld shared first authorship.
  • Sabine Schönfeld,

    1. Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and Centre of Epidemiology and Longitudinal Studies (CELOS), Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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    • Hans-Ulrich Wittchen and Sabine Schönfeld shared first authorship.
  • Christin Thurau,

    1. Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and Centre of Epidemiology and Longitudinal Studies (CELOS), Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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  • Sebastian Trautmann,

    1. Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and Centre of Epidemiology and Longitudinal Studies (CELOS), Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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  • Michaela Galle,

    1. Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and Centre of Epidemiology and Longitudinal Studies (CELOS), Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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  • Kathleen Mark,

    1. Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and Centre of Epidemiology and Longitudinal Studies (CELOS), Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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  • Robin Hauffa,

    1. “Center of Military Mental Health” (Zentrum für Psychiatrie und Psychotraumatologie am Bundeswehrkrankenhaus), Berlin, Germany
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  • Peter Zimmermann,

    1. “Center of Military Mental Health” (Zentrum für Psychiatrie und Psychotraumatologie am Bundeswehrkrankenhaus), Berlin, Germany
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  • Judith Schaefer,

    1. Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and Centre of Epidemiology and Longitudinal Studies (CELOS), Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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  • Susann Steudte,

    1. Institute of Biological Psychology, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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  • Jens Siegert,

    1. Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and Centre of Epidemiology and Longitudinal Studies (CELOS), Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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  • Michael Höfler,

    1. Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and Centre of Epidemiology and Longitudinal Studies (CELOS), Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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  • Clemens Kirschbaum

    1. Institute of Biological Psychology, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and Centre of Epidemiology and Longitudinal Studies (CELOS), Technische Universität Dresden, Chemnitzer Str. 46, 01187 Dresden, Germany.

Telephone (+49) 351-463-39860

Fax (+49) 351-463- 39830

Email: wittchen@psychologie.tu-dresden.de

Abstract

Investigation of the prevalence, incidence, and determinants of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and other mental disorders associated with military deployment in international missions poses several methodological and procedural challenges. This paper describes the design and sampling strategies, instruments, and experimental procedures applied in a study programme aimed to examine military deployment-related mental health and disorders (prevalence and trajectories) and to identify vulnerability and risk factors (e.g. age, gender, type of mission, rank, and duration of deployment and a wide range of neurobiological, psychological, social, and behavioural factors).

The study comprised two components. The first component, a cross-sectional study, included 1483 deployed and 889 non-deployed German soldiers (response rate, 93%) who served during the 2009 International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission. A standardized diagnostic instrument (Composite International Diagnostic Interview, CIDI) coupled with established questionnaires was administered to detect and diagnose PTSD and a broad spectrum of mental disorders and mental health problems. The second component, a prospective-longitudinal study, included 621 soldiers examined before (2011) and after return (2012) from the ISAF mission. In addition to the CIDI and questionnaires, several experimental behavioural tests and biological markers were implemented to probe for incident mental disorders, mental health problems and risk factors. Our methods are expected to provide greater precision than previous studies for estimating the risk for incident deployment-related and non-deployment-related disorders and their risk factors. We expect the findings to advance our understanding of a wide spectrum of adverse mental health outcomes beyond PTSD. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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