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Prevalence, Demographic, and Clinical Correlates of Likely PTSD in Subscribers of Text4Hope during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Abstract: Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, people may experience increased risk of adverse mental health, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Methods: A survey measured stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms in Text4Hope subscribers using the Perceived Stress Scale, Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item Scale, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 Part 3, respectively. A Chi-square test and multivariate logistic regression were employed. Results: Most respondents were 41–60 years old (49.5%), Caucasian (83.3%), with post-secondary education (92.1%), employed (70.3%), married/cohabiting/partnered (64.9%), and homeowners (71.7%). Likely PTSD was reported in 46.8% of the respondents. Those who were afraid to contract the coronavirus had a history of depression before the pandemic, and those who received counselling during the pandemic exhibited a high prevalence of likely PTSD (OR (1.7 to 2.2)). Significant lower odds of likely PTSD were observed among subscribers who received absolute support from family/friends. Conclusions: This paper presents findings on the prevalence of likely PTSD and identified vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our results support the proposal that public health advice should incorporate mental health wellness campaigns aiming to reduce the psychological impact of pandemics.
Keywords: PTSD / Text4Hope / family support / COVID-19 / depression / stress / anxiety

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