EJPT: Call for Papers

PTSD Symptomics:
Analyzing individual PTSD symptoms and their network configurations in traumatized populations

Deadline: December 20, 2016

Guest Editors:
Dr. Cherie Armour, Psychology Lecturer, Ulster University. President Elect of the United Kingdom Psychological Trauma Society (UKPTS)
Dr. Eiko I. Fried, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Psychological Methods Group at University of Amsterdam.

EJPT_Cover_300x400About the call

Traditionally, researchers sum PTSD symptoms such as intrusive thoughts, restricted affect, and memory impairment to create a total score, and then use this score to establish a threshold that differentiates traumatized participants from healthy controls. Researchers then investigate differences between these two groups for clinical variables like risk factors, treatment response, or biological markers. This routine practice presupposes that PTSD is a discrete condition, and that PTSD symptoms are roughly equally relevant to the disorder.

A recent alternative approach called Symptomics (Fried et al., 2015) has been proposed, which entails the investigation of individual psychopathological symptoms on the one hand, and the study of the causal dynamics of these symptoms in psychopathological networks on the other. This novel framework is supported by a growing chorus of voices and has shown very promising findings in depression research: depression symptoms differentially relate to risk factors, impact on impairment, treatment response, and biological markers (Fried & Nesse, 2015), and depression symptoms seem to form networks of causal relations (van Borkulo et al., 2015). Arguably, these insights that may offer new avenues for prevention and intervention cannot be gained when analyzing sums of symptoms.

The symptomics framework has only recently been applied to PTSD (Mcnally et al., 2014). The present special issue PTSD Symptomics: Analyzing individual PTSD symptoms and their network configurations in traumatized populations invites symptom-based papers for the domain of PTSD research to explore to which degree PTSD symptoms differ from each other in important aspects, and to establish the ways in which PTSD symptoms interact with each other in networks.

The European Journal of Psychotraumatology invites original research papers utilizing multivariate symptom-based analysis (e.g., Jokela, Virtanen, & Batty, 2016) or network analysis (e.g., van Borkulo et al., 2015), as well as short communications and debate pieces on the following topics:

  • PTSD symptom networks, either on the level of groups or individuals, in cross-sectional or time-series data
  • The stability of PTSD symptomatology and PTSD networks over time
  • PTSD comorbidity research from a network perspective
  • Symptom-based analyses that investigate whether PTSD symptoms are differentially related to various clinically relevant variables such as impairment, risk factors, biomarkers, etc.
  • Systematic reviews focusing on PTSD symptomics

Please go to journal  website, read the author guidelines carefully, click the ‘Submit manuscript’ button in the upper right-hand corner and follow the instructions. The section to select is ‘PTSD symptomics’.

The European Journal of Psychotraumatology is an open access Journal, and authors retain full copyright over their work. For this special issue, regular publication fees apply; please see our site for details.

The submission deadline is December 20th, 2016. We aim to move forward very quickly with the reviews and have organized a larger group of expert reviewers. A first round of reviews is expected by January 27th, 2017, with final decisions made by the end of February.

For inquiries about this call, please contact the Guest Editors of this special issue: Dr. Cherie Armour and Dr. Eiko I. Fried; or Professor Miranda Olff, Chief Editor of the European Journal of Psychotraumatology.


European Journal of Psychotraumatology has a Thompson Reuters Impact Factor of 2.325