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Disturbed sleep connects symptoms of PTSD and somatisation: a network analysis approach

Astill Wright, Laurence ORCID:, Roberts, Neil, Barawi, Kali, Simon, Natalie, Zammit, Stanley ORCID:, McElroy, Eoin and Bisson, Jonathan ORCID: 2021. Disturbed sleep connects symptoms of PTSD and somatisation: a network analysis approach. Journal of Traumatic Stress 34 (2) , pp. 375-383. 10.1002/jts.22619

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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and physical health problems, particularly somatic symptom disorder, are highly comorbid. Studies have only examined this co‐occurrence at the disorder level rather than assessing the associations between specific symptoms. Using network analysis to identify symptoms that act as bridges between these disorders may allow for the development of interventions to specifically target this comorbidity. We examined the association between somatization and PTSD symptoms via network analysis. This included 349 trauma‐exposed individuals recruited through the National Centre for Mental Health PTSD cohort who completed the Clinician‐Administered PTSD Scale for DSM‐5 and the Patient Health Questionnaire–15. A total of 215 (61.6%) individuals met the DSM‐5 diagnostic criteria for PTSD. An exploratory graph analysis identified four clusters of densely connected symptoms within the overall network: PTSD, chronic pain, gastrointestinal issues, and more general somatic complaints. Sleep difficulties played a key role in bridging PTSD and somatic symptoms. Our network analysis demonstrates the distinct nature of PTSD and somatization symptoms, with this association connected by disturbed sleep.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0894-9867
Funders: MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 2 October 2020
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 07:36

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