Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 42, Issue 7, pp 583–593

Prevalence and predictors of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in physically injured victims of non-domestic violence

A longitudinal study
  • Venke A. Johansen
  • Astrid K. Wahl
  • Dag Erik Eilertsen
  • Lars Weisaeth

DOI: 10.1007/s00127-007-0205-0

Cite this article as:
Johansen, V.A., Wahl, A.K., Eilertsen, D.E. et al. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol (2007) 42: 583. doi:10.1007/s00127-007-0205-0



Victims of violent assault experience diverse post-event emotional problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and they may have multiple emotional problems. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence and predictors of PTSD in a longitudinal design.


The levels of physical injury, perceived life threat, prior experience of violence, peritraumatic dissociation (PD), acute PTSD, perceived self-efficacy and perceived social support are considered possible predictors. This study had a single group (N = 70), longitudinal design with three repeated measures over a period of 12 months. Questionnaires used were: Impact of Event Scale-15 and 22 (IES-15 and 22), Post-Traumatic Symptom Scale-10 (PTSS-10), Peritraumatic Dissociation (PD) 7-item self-report measure, Social Provisions Scale (SPS) and Generalized Self-Efficacy scale (GSE).


Results showed a high prevalence and severity of PTSD on all outcomes, for instance 31% scored as probable PTSD-cases and 14% as risk level cases by IES-15 at T3. Either injury severity or prior experience of being a victim of violence predicted PTSD in this study. Early PTSD predicted subsequent PTSD, and perceived life threat was a predictor of PD. Furthermore, lack of perceived social support was a predictor of PTSD symptoms at T3. In addition, low perceived self-efficacy was a predictor of PTSD and influenced perceived social support at T1.


Our results showed that experience of non-domestic violence may cause serious chronic emotional problems, and therefore it is important to be aware of early symptoms indicating needs for special follow-ups.


non-domestic violence post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) peritraumatic dissociation (PD) perceived self-efficacy (PSE) perceived social support (PSS) 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Venke A. Johansen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Astrid K. Wahl
    • 3
  • Dag Erik Eilertsen
    • 3
  • Lars Weisaeth
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of HealthBuskerud University CollegeBuskerudNorway
  2. 2.Resource Centre on Violence, Traumatic Stress and Suicide Prevention, Western Norway (RVTS-West) Helse Bergen, Haukeland University HospitalBergenNorway
  3. 3.University of OsloOsloNorway
  4. 4.Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, Ullevål University HospitalOsloNorway