Research Output

Cognitive appraisals and physical health in people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  Previous literature suggests that posttraumatic stress disorder (PSTD) is associated with poor physical
health. To date a number of existing hypotheses have been developed to explain this association focusing
predominantly on the interplay between cognitive and emotional appraisals. We have attempted to synthesise
existing literature on the role of cognitive and emotional appraisals in explaining ill health (i.e.
medically explained symptoms), following PTSD. On the basis of this review, we are introducing a conceptualisation
aiming to explain poor physical health following PTSD. This new conceptualisation proposes
that PTSD symptoms will lead to the production of two types of cognitive appraisals: Appraisals
about the body that occurred during traumatisation, and cognitive appraisals about PTSD symptoms
themselves. Both these cognitive appraisals coupled with negative emotional responses will lead to physiological
arousal and negative health behaviours and subsequently to poor health. Although this conceptualisation
has certain clinical implications for the management of physical health following PTSD,
further research is required to test such by investigating the association between its elements.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    31 March 2009

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher


  • DOI:


  • Library of Congress:

    RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    616.8 Nervous & mental disorders


Karatzias, T. & Chouliara, Z. (2009). Cognitive appraisals and physical health in people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Medical hypotheses. 72, 444-447. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2008.10.026. ISSN 0306-9877



posttraumatic stress disorder; physical health; cognitive appraisal; emotional response;

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