Nearly half of United States military vets surveyed in a study published in JAMA Psychiatry reported posttraumatic development (PTG) from the COVID-19 pandemic, such as appreciation of life, relating to other individuals and private strength. This is compared to 12.8% who screen positive for COVID-19-linked post-traumatic strain disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

The study utilized information from a sample of US veterans who participated in the 2019-2020 National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study. Of the 7,860 that completed the survey, 3,078 completed a 1-year comply with-up survey in late 2020. Those participants received a brief version of the of the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory to assess PTG from COVID-19.

Of the 3,078 veterans who completed the comply with-up survey, 12.8% screened positive for COVID-19-linked PTSD. Out of that very same group, 43.3% mentioned they knowledgeable “moderate or greater” levels of COVID-19-linked PTG. However, these who screen positive for PTSD have been more most likely than these who screened adverse to endorse all elements of PTG (71.9 vs 39.1%).

Limitations of the study consist of its cross-sectional style and the use of self-reporting to assess PTSD and PTG.

The study benefits “underscores the importance of evaluating PTG-promoting interventions as part of suicide risk prevention and treatment efforts in veterans,” the researchers concluded.


Pietrzak RH, Tsai J, Southwick SM. Association of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder with posttraumatic psychological growth among US veterans during the COVID-19 pandemicJAMA Netw Open. 20214(4):e214972. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.4972