Symptom structure of PTSD following breast cancer

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Abstract

Identification of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and diagnoses in survivors of cancer is a growing area of research, but no published data exist regarding the symptom structure of PTSD in survivors of malignant disease. Findings from investigations of the PTSD symptom structure in other trauma populations have been inconsistent and have not been concordant with the reexperiencing, avoidance/numbing, and arousal symptom clusters specified in DSM-IV. The present study employed confirmatory factor analysis to evaluate the extent to which the implied second-order factor structure of PTSD was replicated in a sample of 142 breast cancer survivors. PTSD symptoms were measured using the PTSD Checklist—Civilian Version (PCL-C). Fit indices reflected a moderate fit of the symptom structure implied by the DSM-IV. These findings provide some tentative support for the DSM-IV clustering of PTSD symptoms and for the validity of cancer-related PTSD.

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