Peritraumatic dissociation as a predictor of post-traumatic stress disorder: a critical review

I.E.L. Candel*, H. Merckelbach

*Corresponding author for this work

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In psychiatric literature, dissociative reactions at the time of a traumatic event (i.e., peritraumatic dissociation) are considered to be risk factors for the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this article, we critically review research concerned with the link between peritraumatic dissociation and PTSD. Our main point is that studies in this area heavily rely on retrospective reports of dissociative reactions during the trauma. We argue that this methodology has important limitations since people in general and PTSD patients in particular find it difficult to give accurate descriptions of past emotional states. Restrictive factors that play a role in this context have to do with forgetting, attribution, and malingering.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-50
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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