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COVID-19 Pandemic in the Italian Population: Validation of a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Questionnaire and Prevalence of PTSD Symptomatology

1
Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Via dei Marsi 78, 00185 Rome, Italy
2
Department of Dynamic and Clinical Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Via degli Apuli 1, 00185 Rome, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4151; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114151
Received: 28 April 2020 / Revised: 6 June 2020 / Accepted: 8 June 2020 / Published: 10 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Prognosis, Outcomes and Long-Term Sequelae)
Since December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has attracted worldwide attention for its rapid and exponential diffusion. The long-term psychological impact, of both the spread of the virus and the restrictive policies adopted to counteract it, remains uncertain. However, recent studies reported a high level of psychological distress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. The purpose of this study is to assess the psychometric properties of a new questionnaire, to evaluate PTSD risk related to the COVID-19 emergency. A total of Italian people completed a web-based cross-sectional survey broadcasted through different social-media. Demographic data and some psychological dimensions, such as general distress and sleep disturbance, were collected. A new self-report questionnaire (COVID-19-PTSD), consisting of 19 items, was developed starting from the PTSD Check List for DSM-5 (PCL-5) questionnaire, and it was administered in order to analyze its psychometric properties. The results highlighted the adequate psychometric properties of the COVID-19-PTSD questionnaire. The confirmatory factor analysis indicated that a seven-factor model (Intrusion, Avoidance, Negative Affect, Anhedonia, Dysphoric arousal, Anxious arousal and Externalizing behavior) best fits the data. Significant correlations were found among COVID-19-PTSD scores, general distress and sleep disturbance. A high percentage of PTSD symptomatology (29.5%) was found in the Italian population. COVID-19-PTSD appears to be effective in evaluating the specific stress symptoms related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Italian population. These results are relevant from a clinical point of view because they suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic could be considered as a traumatic event. Psychological interventions to counteract short- and long-term psychopathological effects, consequent to the COVID-19 pandemic, appear to be necessary. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic; post-traumatic stress disorder; PTSD; prevalence COVID-19; pandemic; post-traumatic stress disorder; PTSD; prevalence
MDPI and ACS Style

Forte, G.; Favieri, F.; Tambelli, R.; Casagrande, M. COVID-19 Pandemic in the Italian Population: Validation of a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Questionnaire and Prevalence of PTSD Symptomatology. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4151. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114151

AMA Style

Forte G, Favieri F, Tambelli R, Casagrande M. COVID-19 Pandemic in the Italian Population: Validation of a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Questionnaire and Prevalence of PTSD Symptomatology. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(11):4151. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114151

Chicago/Turabian Style

Forte, Giuseppe; Favieri, Francesca; Tambelli, Renata; Casagrande, Maria. 2020. "COVID-19 Pandemic in the Italian Population: Validation of a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Questionnaire and Prevalence of PTSD Symptomatology" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 11: 4151. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114151

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