Predictors of traumatic experiences among individuals experiencing pandemic-related stressors: a cross-sectional study in Europe during the COVID-19 crisis

Chrysanthi Lioupi (Corresponding author), Xenia Anastassiou-Hadjicharalambous, Elena Acquarini, Dean Ajdukovic, Vittoria Ardino, Maria Böttche, Malgorzata Dragan, Margarida Figueiredo-Braga, Odeta Gelezelyte, Piotr Grajewski, Jana Darejan Javakhishvili, Evaldas Kazlauskas, Lonneke Lenferink, Brigitte Lueger-Schuster, Lela Tsiskarishvili, Trudy Mooren, Luisa Sales, Marina Ajdukovic, Irina Zrnic Novakovic, Rakel EklundIda Hensler, Ingo Schäfer, Annett Lotzin

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


The COVID-19 pandemic is a manifestation of trauma exposure that could eventuate in psychological distress, anxiety, depression, and various mental health disturbances, especially in people who have experienced an additional stressor such as a traumatic event. This cross-sectional study assessed the relationship between pandemic-related stressors, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the risk for severe or life-threatening symptoms, and resilience among individuals with a traumatic history amidst the coronavirus disease. This study is part of a longitudinal pan-European research, the ADJUST study. The present study consisted of 14.106 participants. The questionnaires utilized included: sociodemographics, health aspects, the Criterion A section of the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5), the Primary Care PTSD Screen for DSM-5 (PC-PTSD-5), the Pandemic Stressor Scale (PaSS), and the Resilience Evaluation Scale (RES). For the analysis, descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis were applied. 29% of the respondents reported a traumatic history. Fear of infection, burden of infection, crisis management and communication, restricted activity, risk for severe or life-threatening symptoms of the coronavirus disease, PTSD, and resilience were the predictive factors in the trauma-exposed population. This research provides insights into the stressors that individuals with a traumatic background might experience through the COVID-19 pandemic. Future interventions and worldwide health policies should target trauma-exposed populations to enhance psychological health amidst COVID-19 and other stressful events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18908-18917
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number20
Early online date17 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 501010 Clinical psychology


  • COVID-19
  • Pandemic stressors
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Resilience
  • Trauma

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