Can the dissociative PTSD subtype be identified across two distinct trauma samples meeting caseness for PTSD?

Maj Hansen, Jana Mullerova, Ask Elklit, Cherie Armour

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16 Citations (Scopus)
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For over a century, the occurrence of dissociative symptoms in connection to traumatic exposure has been acknowledged in the scientific literature. Recently, the importance of dissociation has also been recognized in the long-term traumatic response within the DSM-5 nomenclature. Several studies have confirmed the existence of the dissociative posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) subtype. However, there is a lack of studies investigating latent profiles of PTSD solely in victims with PTSD. Purpose and method. The current study investigates the possible presence of PTSD subtypes using latent class analysis (LCA) across two distinct trauma samples meeting caseness for DSM-5 PTSD based on self-reports (N = 787). Moreover, we assessed if a number of risk factors resulted in an increased probability of membership in a dissociative compared to a non-dissociative PTSD class. Results. The results of LCA revealed a two-class solution with two highly symptomatic classes: a dissociative and a non-dissociative class across both samples. Increased emotion-focused coping increased the probability of individuals being grouped into the dissociative class across both samples. Social support reduced the probability of individuals being grouped into the dissociative class but only in the victims of motor vehicle accidents (MVA) suffering from whiplash. Conclusions. The results are discussed in light of their clinical implications and suggest that the dissociative subtype can be identified in victims of incest and victims of MVA suffering from whiplash meeting caseness for DSM-5 PTSD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159-1169
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number8
Early online date11 May 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 May 2016

Bibliographical note

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  • PTSD
  • dissociation
  • subtype
  • latent class analysis


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