The Dissociative Subtype of PTSD Interview (DSP-I): Development and Psychometric Properties

Marloes B. Eidhof*, F. Jackie June ter Heide, Niels van der Aa, Monika Schreckenbach, Ulrike Schmidt, Bethany L. Brand, Ruth A. Lanius, Richard J. Loewenstein, David Spiegel, Eric Vermetten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The inclusion of the dissociative subtype of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD-DS) in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) reflects the importance of assessing PTSD-DS. We developed the Dissociative Subtype of PTSD Interview (DSP-I). This clinician-administered instrument assesses the presence and severity of PTSD-DS (i.e., symptoms of depersonalization or derealization) and contains a supplementary checklist that enables assessment and differentiation of other trauma-related dissociative symptoms (i.e., blanking out, emotional numbing, alterations in sensory perception, amnesia, and identity confusion). The psychometric properties were tested in 131 treatment-seeking individuals with PTSD and histories of multiple trauma, 17.6 % of whom met criteria for PTSD-DS in accordance with the DSP-I. The checklist was tested in 275 treatment-seeking individuals. Results showed the DSP-I to have high internal consistency, good convergent validity with PTSD-DS items of the CAPS-5, and good divergent validity with scales of somatization, anxiety and depression. The depersonalization and derealization scales were highly associated. Moreover, the DSP-I accounted for an additional variance in PTSD severity scores of 8% over and above the CAPS-5 and number of traumatic experiences. The dissociative experiences of the checklist were more strongly associated with scales of overall distress, somatization, depression, and anxiety than scales of depersonalization and derealization. In conclusion, the DSP-I appears to be a clinically relevant and psychometrically sound instrument that is valuable for use in clinical and research settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-581
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Trauma & Dissociation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2019


  • Assessment
  • Complex PTSD
  • Complex trauma
  • Prevalence
  • Semi-structured clinical interview

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