Symptoms of PTSD and Posttraumatic Psychological Growth Among US Veterans During COVID-19 | Psychiatry and Behavioral Health | JN Learning | AMA Ed Hub [Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]

Association of Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder With Posttraumatic Psychological Growth Among US Veterans During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

Although extensive research has documented the negative psychiatric consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic,1,2 no study, to our knowledge, has examined whether the pandemic may be associated with positive psychological changes or posttraumatic growth (PTG). In addition to increasing risk for psychiatric illness, traumatic events may also stimulate PTG in the form of increased personal strength and appreciation of life, improved social relationships, spiritual changes, and new possibilities for one’s life.3,4 Posttraumatic growth is associated with better functioning5 and greater resilience to subsequent traumatic events6 in trauma survivors.

Sign in to take quiz and track your certificates

Buy This Activity
Article Information

Accepted for Publication: February 16, 2021.

Published: April 8, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.4972

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2021 Pietrzak RH et al. JAMA Network Open.

Corresponding Author: Robert H. Pietrzak, PhD, MPH, US Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, 950 Campbell Ave, 151E, West Haven, CT 06516 (robert.pietrzak@yale.edu).

Author Contributions: Dr Pietrzak had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: All authors.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Pietrzak.

Drafting of the manuscript: Pietrzak.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.

Statistical analysis: Pietrzak.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Pietrzak, Tsai.

Supervision: Pietrzak, Southwick.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Southwick reported receiving royalties from Cambridge University Press for the book Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.

Funding/Support: The National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study is supported by the US Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funding organization had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Additional Contributions: We thank all of the veterans who participated in the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study, and Ipsos staff members who facilitated data collection, particularly Robert Torongo, MA, and Alyssa Marciniak, MA, who were not compensated for their contributions.

References
1.
Krishnamoorthy  Y , Nagarajan  R , Saya  GK , Menon  V .  Prevalence of psychological morbidities among general population, healthcare workers and COVID-19 patients amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review and meta-analysis.   Psychiatry Res. 2020;293:113382. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113382 PubMedGoogle Scholar
2.
O’Connor  RC , Wetherall  K , Cleare  S ,  et al.  Mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: longitudinal analyses of adults in the UK COVID-19 Mental Health & Wellbeing study.   Br J Psychiatry. 2020;1-8. doi:10.1192/bjp.2020.212 PubMedGoogle Scholar
3.
Cann  A , Calhoun  LG , Tedeschi  RG ,  et al.  A short form of the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory.   Anxiety Stress Coping. 2010;23(2):127-137. doi:10.1080/10615800903094273Google ScholarCrossref
4.
Wu  X , Kaminga  AC , Dai  W ,  et al.  The prevalence of moderate-to-high posttraumatic growth: a systematic review and meta-analysis.   J Affect Disord. 2019;243:408-415. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2018.09.023 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
5.
Tsai  J , El-Gabalawy  R , Sledge  WH , Southwick  SM , Pietrzak  RH .  Post-traumatic growth among veterans in the USA: results from the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study.   Psychol Med. 2015;45(1):165-179. doi:10.1017/S0033291714001202 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
6.
Tsai  J , Mota  NP , Southwick  SM , Pietrzak  RH .  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger: a national study of U.S. military veterans.   J Affect Disord. 2016;189:269-271. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2015.08.076 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
If you are not a JN Learning subscriber, you can either:
Subscribe to JN Learning for one year
Buy this activity
jn-learning_Modal_Multimedia_LoginSubscribe_Purchase
Close
If you are not a JN Learning subscriber, you can either:
Subscribe to JN Learning for one year
Buy this activity
jn-learning_Modal_Multimedia_LoginSubscribe_Purchase
Close
With a personal account, you can:
  • Access free activities and track your credits
  • Personalize content alerts
  • Customize your interests
  • Fully personalize your learning experience
Education Center Collection Sign In Modal Right
Close

Name Your Search

Save Search
Close
With a personal account, you can:
  • Track your credits
  • Personalize content alerts
  • Customize your interests
  • Fully personalize your learning experience
jn-learning_Modal_SaveSearch_NoAccess_Purchase
Close

Lookup An Activity

or

Close

My Saved Searches

You currently have no searches saved.

Close
With a personal account, you can:
  • Access free activities and track your credits
  • Personalize content alerts
  • Customize your interests
  • Fully personalize your learning experience
Education Center Collection Sign In Modal Right
Close