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Keywords:

  • posttraumatic stress disorder;
  • depression;
  • physical complaints;
  • mediator

Abstract

This study examined the role of comorbid depression in the somatic complaints of 32 individuals with civilian-based posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) while restricting the influence of detectable pathophysiology and additional psychiatric conditions. It was hypothesized that depressive symptomatology would mediate the relationship between PTSD and somatic symptom reporting. Participants were administered structured clinical interviews, a physical examination, and an electrocardiogram. Results of this study supported the hypothesis that depressive symptoms mediate the relationship between PTSD and physical complaints. These results add to a growing body of literature that suggests psychological factors play an influential role in the physical symptom reports of individuals with PTSD.