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Review: 14 risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder include childhood abuse and family psychiatric history

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QUESTIONS: In adults exposed to trauma, what are the risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Are the effect sizes for risk factors influenced by sample and study characteristics?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching the Social Science Citation Index and PILOTS (National Center for PTSD database), recent journal issues, review articles, and book chapters.

Study selection

English language studies were selected. Exclusion criteria were incomplete assessment of PTSD; participants with less severe post-traumatic symptoms or partial PTSD were included in the same group as those meeting PTSD diagnostic criteria; all participants already had PTSD or another psychiatric disorder; not all participants had been exposed to trauma; or data were insufficient for calculating effect sizes.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on …

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