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Post-traumatic stress disorder in train crash survivors in Italy: the role of mood spectrum dysregulations and intrusiveness

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 April 2020

Mario Miniati*
Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Section of Psychiatry, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Laura Palagini
Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Section of Psychiatry, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Danila Caruso
Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Section of Psychiatry, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Mauro Mauri
Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Section of Psychiatry, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Donatella Marazziti
Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Section of Psychiatry, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Liliana Dell’Osso
Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Section of Psychiatry, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Mario Miniati, MD, PhD Email:



To explore relationships among post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive spectrum symptoms, and intrusiveness in subjects who survived the crash of a train derailed carrying liquefied petroleum gas and exploded causing a fire.


A sample of 111 subjects was enrolled in Viareggio, Italy. AMOS version 21 (IBM Corp, 2012) was utilized for a structural equation model-path analysis to model the direct and indirect links between the exposure to the traumatic event, the occurrence of depressive symptoms, and intrusiveness. Subjects were administered with the SCID-IV (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV), the Questionnaire for Mood Spectrum (MOODS-SR)-Last Month version, the Trauma and Loss Spectrum Questionnaire (TALS-SR), and the Impact of Event Scale-Revised version (IES-R).


Sixty-six (66/111; 59.4%) subjects met SCID-IV criteria for PTSD. Indices of goodness of fit were as followed: χ2/df = 0.2 P = .6; comparative fit index = 1 and root mean square error of approximation = 0.0001. A significant path coefficient for direct effect of potential traumatic events on depressive symptoms (β = 0.25; P < .04) and from depressive symptoms to intrusiveness (β = 0.34; P < .003) was found. An indirect effect was also observed: standardized value of potential traumatic events on intrusiveness was 0.86. The mediating factor of this indirect effect path was represented by depressive symptoms. Potential traumatic events explained 6.2% of the variance of depressive symptoms; 11.8% of the variance of intrusiveness was accounted for traumatic event and depressive symptoms.


Path analysis led us to speculate that depression symptoms might have mediated the relationship between the exposure to potential traumatic events and intrusiveness for the onset of PTSD.

Original Research
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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