Posttraumatic stress and depression: potential pathways to disease burden among heart failure patients

April Taylor-Clift, Stevan E. Hobfoll, James I. Gerhart, De Juran Richardson, James E. Calvin, Lynda H. Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) are associated with high disease burden. Pathways by which PTSD and MDD contribute to disease burden are not understood. Design: Path analysis was used to examine pathways between PTSD symptoms, MDD symptoms, and disease burden among 251 low-income heart failure patients. Methods: In Model 1, we explored the independent relationship between PTSD and MDD symptoms on disease burden. In Model 2, we examined the association of PTSD symptoms and disease burden on MDD symptoms. We also examined indirect associations of PTSD symptoms on MDD symptoms, mediated by disease burden, and of PTSD symptoms on disease burden mediated by MDD symptoms. Results: Disease burden correlated with PTSD symptoms (r =.41; p <.001) and MDD symptoms (r =.43; p <.001) symptoms. Both models fit the data well and displayed comparable fit. MDD symptoms did not mediate the association of PTSD symptoms with disease burden. Disease burden did mediate the relationship between PTSD symptoms and MDD symptoms. Conclusions: Results support the importance of detection of PTSD in individuals with disease. Results also provide preliminary models for testing longitudinal data in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-152
Number of pages14
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 3 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • chronic disease burden
  • congestive heart failure
  • depression
  • path analysis
  • posttraumatic stress disorder


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