A critical evaluation of the complex PTSD literature: implications for DSM-5.


Journal Article (Review)

Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) has been proposed as a diagnosis for capturing the diverse clusters of symptoms observed in survivors of prolonged trauma that are outside the current definition of PTSD. Introducing a new diagnosis requires a high standard of evidence, including a clear definition of the disorder, reliable and valid assessment measures, support for convergent and discriminant validity, and incremental validity with respect to implications for treatment planning and outcome. In this article, the extant literature on CPTSD is reviewed within the framework of construct validity to evaluate the proposed diagnosis on these criteria. Although the efforts in support of CPTSD have brought much needed attention to limitations in the trauma literature, we conclude that available evidence does not support a new diagnostic category at this time. Some directions for future research are suggested.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Resick, PA; Bovin, MJ; Calloway, AL; Dick, AM; King, MW; Mitchell, KS; Suvak, MK; Wells, SY; Stirman, SW; Wolf, EJ

Published Date

  • June 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 241 - 251

PubMed ID

  • 22729974

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22729974

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-6598

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/jts.21699


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States