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Incidence of PTSD in the French population a month after the COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdown: evidence from a national longitudinal survey

Caroline Alleaume 1 Patrick Peretti-Watel 2, 1 François Beck 3 Damien Leger 4, 5 Guillaume Vaiva 6 Pierre Verger 1 Jocelyn Raude 7, 8 
8 The COCONEL Group
CREM - Centre de recherche en économie et management, CESP - Centre de recherche en épidémiologie et santé des populations, EHESP - École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique [EHESP], VITROME - Vecteurs - Infections tropicales et méditerranéennes, GEMASS - Groupe d'Etude des Méthodes de l'Analyse Sociologique de la Sorbonne, Southeastern Health Regional Observatory (ORS Paca), Inserm CIC 1417, Université Paris, Faculté de Médecine Paris Descartes, AP-HP, Hôpital Cochin,
Abstract : Background In view of experts’ warnings about the potential negative mental health consequences of the sudden nationwide lockdowns implemented in many countries to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, we sought to study the incidence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after traumatic events related to this unprecedented lockdown in the French general population. Methods This longitudinal study among adults (aged =18) consisted of two surveys: the first during the last days of the lockdown and the second a month later. We estimated PTSD incidence with the PCL-5 and ran multiple Poisson regression models to identify factors associated with PTSD. Results: Among the 1736 participants, 30.1% reported at least one traumatic event. PTSD incidence was 17.5% (95% confidence interval CI = 15.7–19.3). It was higher in participants who reported multiple traumatic events, who had high COVID-19-related media use, who had general anxiety disorder (GAD-7) during the lockdown, and who had GAD, depression (PHQ-9), or sleep problems 1 month later. In addition, 43.1% of people with PTSD reported suicidal thoughts. Conclusions These results should help clinicians to target people who are at high risk of developing PTSD after a pandemic-related lockdown and could benefit from preventive measures. Collaboration between the media and mental health professionals could be envisioned to inform the population about care resources. Follow-up recommendations should also be disseminated to general practitioners to facilitate PTSD screening and ensure that they are aware of the appropriate management.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 3:15:37 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 22, 2022 - 2:26:16 PM

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Caroline Alleaume, Patrick Peretti-Watel, François Beck, Damien Leger, Guillaume Vaiva, et al.. Incidence of PTSD in the French population a month after the COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdown: evidence from a national longitudinal survey. BMC Public Health, 2022, 22 (1), pp.1500. ⟨10.1186/s12889-022-13880-9⟩. ⟨hal-03810615⟩

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