Impairment of Quality of Life Associated With Lifetime Diagnosis of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Women - A National Survey in Italy

Federica Sancassiani1, *, Claudia Carmassi2, Ferdinando Romano3, Matteo Balestrieri4, Filippo Caraci5, Guido Di Sciascio6, Filippo Drago5, Carlo Faravelli7, Maria Carolina Hardoy1, Maria Francesca Moro1, 8, Rita Roncone9, Antonio Preti1, Liliana Dell’Osso2
1 Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy;
2 University of Pisa ,Pisa, Italy;
3 University of Roma “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy;
4 University of Udine,Udine, Italy;
5 University of Catania, Catania, Italy;
6 University of Bari, Bari, Italy;
7 University of Florence, Florence, Italy;
8 Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA
9 University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 2117
Abstract HTML Views: 689
PDF Downloads: 581
ePub Downloads: 374
Total Views/Downloads: 3761
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 1195
Abstract HTML Views: 355
PDF Downloads: 410
ePub Downloads: 261
Total Views/Downloads: 2221

Creative Commons License
© 2019 Sancassiani et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy; Tel: +39 3493119215; E-mail:



The aim of the study was to measure the lifetime prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among women of an Italian community sample, the comorbidity of PTSD with mood and anxiety disorders and the burden attributable to PTSD in worsening the Quality of Life (QoL).


Community survey on a sample of 1961 adult women randomly selected. Tools: psychiatric clinical interview ANTAS partially derived from the SCID-DSM-IV, administered by psychologists or medical doctors; Short Form Health Survey (SF-12); Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ).


Lifetime prevalence of PTSD in women was 1.3%, (1.4% in<45 years aged, 1.3% in >44 years aged; p=0.8). In order of risk of comorbidity, PTSD was associated with: Bipolar Spectrum Disorders (MDQ+), Panic Disorders (PD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). People with PTSD showed an SF-12 mean score lower than women of the same sample without PTSD (standardized by gender and age), with a mean difference (attributable burden) of 3.9±0.9 similarly to MDD and Eating Disorders and higher than PD. Among the analyzed nonpsychiatric diseases, Multiple Sclerosis and Carotid Atherosclerosis showed a higher burden in impairing QoL than PTSD; Wilson’s Disease showed a similar burden and Celiac Disease was found less impairing on QoL than PTSD.


The attributable burden in worsening women’ perceived QoL due to a lifetime diagnosis of PTSD was found comparable to those caused by MDD, Eating Disorders or by neurological condition such as Wilson’s Disease. The comorbidity of PTSD with Bipolar Spectrum Disorders was remarkable, even further studies are needed to clarify the direction of causality.

Keywords: Quality of life, PTSD, Psychiatric comorlridity, Women health, Community survey, Mood disorder.