Investigating the DSM–5 and the ICD-11 PTSD symptoms using network analysis across two distinct samples

Maj Hansen, Cherie Armour, Emily McGlinchey, Jana Ross, Sophie Lykkegaard Ravn, Tonny Elmose Andersen, Nanna Lindekilde, Mette Elmose, Sidsel Karsberg, Eiko Fried

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has long been debated with a recent focus on the consequences of having two different diagnostic descriptions of PTSD (i.e., the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition [DSM–5] and the International Classification of Diseases-11th Edition [ICD-11]). Research has modeled PTSD as a network of interacting symptoms according to both diagnostic systems, but the relations between the two systems remain unclear regarding which symptoms are more central or interconnected. To answer this question, the present study is the first study to investigate the combined network structure of PTSD symptoms according to both systems using validated measurements (i.e., the International Trauma Questionnaire [ITQ] and the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist 5 [PCL-5] across two distinct trauma samples [a community sample, N = 2,367], and a military sample, N = 657). Method: We estimated two Gaussian Graphical Models of the combined ICD-11 and DSM–5 PTSD symptoms across the two samples. Results: Five of the six most central symptoms were the same across both samples. Conclusions: The results underline that a combination of five symptoms representing both diagnostic systems may hold central positions and potentially be important for treatment. However, the implications depend on if the different diagnostic descriptions can be reconciled in an indexical rather than constitutive perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-766
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Publication statusPublished - 09 Jun 2022


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