Background: Recent evidence showed adverse mental health outcomes associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, including trauma-related symptoms. The Global Psychotrauma Screen (GPS) is a brief instrument designed to assess a broad range of trauma-related symptoms with no available validation in the Italian population. Aims: This study aimed to examine the factor structure of the Italian version of the GPS in a general population sample exposed to the COVID-19 pandemic and to evaluate trauma-related symptoms in the context of COVID-19 related risk factors associated with lockdown measures. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional web-based observational study as part of a long-term monitoring programme of mental health outcomes in the general population. Eighteen thousand one hundred forty-seven participants completed a self-report online questionnaire to collect key demographic data and evaluate trauma-related symptoms using the GPS, PHQ-9, GAD-7, ISI, and PSS. Validation analyses included both exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis and correlation analyses. The relation with putative COVID-19 related risk factors was explored by multivariate regression analysis. Results: Exploratory factor analyses supported a two-factor model. Confirmatory factor analysis showed that the best fitting model was a three-factor solution, with core Post-traumatic Stress Symptoms (PTSS) (re-experiencing, avoidance, hyperarousal), Negative Affect (symptoms of depressed mood, anxiety, irritability), and Dissociative symptoms. GPS Risk factors and specific COVID-19 related stressful events were associated with GPS total and the three factor scores. Conclusions: Our data suggest that a wide range of trauma-spectrum symptoms were reported by a large Italian sample during the COVID-19 pandemic. The GPS symptoms clustered best in three factors: Negative Affect symptoms, Core PTSS, and Dissociative symptoms. In particular, high rates of core PTSS and negative affect symptoms were associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy and should be routinely assessed in clinical practice.
|Titolo:||Trauma-spectrum symptoms among the Italian general population in the time of the COVID-19 outbreak|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2021|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|