Comparison of depression and anxiety symptom networks in reporters and non-reporters of lifetime trauma in two samples of differing severity

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Abstract

Background: Reported trauma is associated with differences in the course and outcomes of depression and anxiety. However, no research has explored the association between reported trauma and patterns of clinically relevant symptoms of both depression and anxiety.
Methods: We used network analysis to investigate associations between reported trauma and depression and anxiety symptom interactions in affected individuals from the Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) Study (n = 17720), and population volunteers from the UK Biobank (n = 11120). Participants with current moderate symptoms of depression or anxiety were grouped into reporters and non-reporters of lifetime trauma. Networks of 16 depression and anxiety symptoms in the two groups were compared using the network comparison test.
Results: In the GLAD Study, networks of reporters and non-reporters of lifetime trauma did not differ on any metric. In the UK Biobank, the symptom network of reporters had significantly greater density (7.80) than the network of non-reporters (7.05).
Limitations: The data collected in the GLAD Study and the UK Biobank are self-reported with validated or semi-validated questionnaires.
Conclusions: Reported lifetime trauma was associated with stronger interactions between symptoms of depression and anxiety in population volunteers. Differences between reporters and non-reporters may not be observed in individuals with severe depression and/or anxiety due to limited variance in the presentation of disorder.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100201
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders Reports
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • trauma
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • network analysis
  • self-report

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