Prevalence and sociocultural correlates of post-traumatic stress disorder and complex PTSD among Chinese community health service users in Hong Kong

Hong Wang Fung*, Emily Nga Man Wong, Stanley Kam Ki Lam, Wai Tong Chien, Suet Lin Hung, Colin A. Ross, Marylene Cloitre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
67 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objectives: Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) is a newly recognized trauma disorder in ICD-11. Little is known about the prevalence and correlates of CPTSD in primary care settings. Its cultural aspects also remained minimally explored. This study investigated the prevalence and sociocultural correlates of PTSD and complex PTSD among Chinese community health service users in Hong Kong. 

Methods: This study investigated ICD-11 PTSD and CPTSD in a sample of adults (N = 376) who had recently received services from Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioners in Hong Kong. Traditional Chinese medicine service is part of primary care services in Chinese societies. Participants completed self-report measures of CPTSD, trauma exposure, perceived family support, perceived caregiver’s Chinese traditionality/modernity, participation (social activities and occupational productivity), depression and pain. 

Results: The past-month prevalence of ICD-11 PTSD and CPTSD was 5.6% and 18.4%, respectively, in our sample. Chi-square tests and one-way ANOVAs revealed that participants with CPTSD were younger and reported more trauma, lower family support, lower levels of social participation and productivity, more depressive symptoms and pain, and more social welfare and mental health service usages than those without PTSD. We found that perceived caregiver’s Chinese modernity (e.g. egalitarianism) was negatively correlated with CPTSD symptoms. Apart from age, non-betrayal trauma had the strongest association with classical PTSD symptoms, while betrayal trauma and perceived family support had the strongest association with disturbances in self-organization symptoms. 

Conclusion: This study provides the first data regarding the prevalence and correlates of ICD-11 PTSD and CPTSD among community health service users in Hong Kong. PTSD and CPTSD are common but often unrecognized mental health problems which are associated with more impairments and more service needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)895-905
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Volume69
Issue number4
Early online date1 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

User-Defined Keywords

  • complex PTSD
  • mental health
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • social care
  • trauma

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