Medline: 8742542

Psychosomatics 37(2): 137-143, 1996.

Identification of PTSD in cancer survivors.

Alter CL, Pelcovitz D, Axelrod A, et al.


The authors measured the rate and determinants of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a group of cancer survivors. Patients who had a history of cancer diagnosis with at least 3 years since diagnosis, receiving no active treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation, were interviewed (N = 27). Patients, who were part of the DSM-IV PTSD field trial, were compared with a community-based control group matched for age and socioeconomic status. One member of the survivor group (4%) and no members of the control group met criteria for current PTSD (NS). Six of the survivors (22%) and no control subjects met lifetime criteria (P < 0.02). Cancer patients have a higher rate of PTSD than found in the community. Symptoms closely resemble those of individuals who have experienced other traumatic events.

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