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Correlation Between Posttraumatic Growth and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms Based on Pearson Correlation Coefficient: A Meta-Analysis

Liu, An-Nuo PhD*†; Wang, Lu-Lu BMSc; Li, Hui-Ping MD; Gong, Juan BMSc; Liu, Xiao-Hong PhD*

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: May 2017 - Volume 205 - Issue 5 - p 380–389
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000605
Review Article

The literature on posttraumatic growth (PTG) is burgeoning, with the inconsistencies in the literature of the relationship between PTG and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms becoming a focal point of attention. Thus, this meta-analysis aims to explore the relationship between PTG and PTSD symptoms through the Pearson correlation coefficient. A systematic search of the literature from January 1996 to November 2015 was completed. We retrieved reports on 63 studies that involved 26,951 patients. The weighted correlation coefficient revealed an effect size of 0.22 with a 95% confidence interval of 0.18 to 0.25. Meta-analysis provides evidence that PTG may be positively correlated with PTSD symptoms and that this correlation may be modified by age, trauma type, and time since trauma. Accordingly, people with high levels of PTG should not be ignored, but rather, they should continue to receive help to alleviate their PTSD symptoms.

*School of Nursing, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai; and †School of Nursing, Anhui Medical University, Shu Shan District, Hefei, China.

An-Nuo Liu and Lu-Lu Wang contributed equally to this work.

Send reprint requests to Xiao-Hong Liu, PhD, School of Nursing, Second Military Medical University, 800 Xiangyin Road, Shanghai 200433, China. E-mail:

This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71371180).

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