Fatalism and ICD-11 CPTSD and PTSD diagnoses: results from Nigeria, Kenia and Ghana

Yafit Levin, Rahel Bachem, Yuval Palgi, Philip Hyland, Thanos Karatzias, Mark Shevlin, Menachem Ben-Ezra, Andreas Maercker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Existing research on post-traumatic sequelae suggests a positive association between fatalism and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the associations between fatalism and the new ICD-11 diagnosis of complex PTSD (CPTSD) have never been explored before. Objective: The current study explored the association between fatalism and PTSD and CPTSD in samples from three African countries. Methods: A total of 2,524 participants from Nigeria (n = 1018), Kenya (n = 1006), and Ghana (n = 500) completed measures of fatalism (non-judgemental fatalism, current fatalism, pessimistic fatalism, prospective fatalism) and the International Trauma Questionnaire (ITQ). A combination of a multinomial regression and path analysis was used to identify fatalism predictors of PTSD and CPTSD versus no diagnosis, and CPTSD versus PTSD, adjusted for demographic variables and trauma exposure. Results: While PTSD was not predicted by any of the fatalism types, compared to no diagnosis, CPTSD was significantly predicted by pessimistic, non-judgemental and current fatalism, both compared to no diagnosis and PTSD. Conclusions: The results broaden the knowledge on potential correlates of the new diagnosis of CPTSD. Addressing fatalistic beliefs by empowering people to think that they can choose their fate should be further explored as a possible target for intervention in the treatment of CPTSD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1988452
Pages (from-to)1988452
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was funded by an internal research grant awarded to Professor Ben-Ezra from Ariel University [RA1700000037].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Trauma
  • complex post-traumatic stress disorder
  • fatalism
  • post-traumatic stress disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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