The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as it relates to people’s experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to determined. This study was conducted to determine rates of COVID-19 related PTSD in the Irish general population, the level of comorbidity with depression and anxiety, and sociodemographic risk factors associated with COVID-19 related PTSD. A nationally representative sample of adults from the general population of the Republic of Ireland (N = 1,041) completed self-report measures of all study variables. The rate of COVID-19 related PTSD was 17.7% (95% CI = 15.35 - 19.99%: n=184), and comorbidity with generalized anxiety (49.5%) and depression (53.8%) was high. Meeting the diagnostic requirement for COVID-19 related PTSD was associated with younger age, male sex, living in a city, living with children, moderate and high perceived risk of COVID-19 infection, and screening positive for anxiety or depression. Traumatic stress problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic are common in the general population. Our results show that health professionals responsible for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic should expect to routinely encounter traumatic stress problems.


This content is not covered by the Open Government Licence. Please see source record or item for information on rights and permissions.

Cite as

Karatzias, T., Shevlin, M., Murphy, J., McBride, O., Ben-Ezra, M., Bentall, R., Vallières, F. & Hyland, P. 2020, 'Posttraumatic stress symptoms and associated comorbidity during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland: a population based study', Journal of Traumatic Stress, 33(4), pp. 365-370. https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.22565

Downloadable citations

Download HTML citationHTML Download BIB citationBIB Download RIS citationRIS
Last updated: 17 June 2022
Was this page helpful?