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Hyland P, Shevlin M, Fyvie C, Cloitre M, Karatzias T. The relationship between ICD-11 PTSD, complex PTSD and dissociative experiences. Journal of trauma & dissociation : the official journal of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation (ISSD). 2020 Jan 1; 21(1):62-72.
Abstract: Debate exists in the trauma literature regarding the role of dissociation in traumatic stress disorders. With the release of the new diagnostic guideline for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex PTSD (CPTSD), this issue warrants further attention. In the current study, we provide a preliminary assessment of the associations between ICD-11 CPTSD and dissociative experiences. This study is based on a sample ( = 106) of highly traumatized clinical patients from the United Kingdom who completed measures of traumatic stress and dissociative experiences. The majority of participants met the diagnostic criteria for CPTSD (69.1%, n = 67), with few patients qualifying for a diagnosis of PTSD (9.3%, n = 9). Those with CPTSD had significantly higher levels of dissociative experiences compared to those with PTSD (Cohen's d = 1.04) and those with no diagnosis (Cohen's d = 1.44). Three CPTSD symptom clusters were multivariately associated with dissociation: Affective Dysregulation ( = .33), Re-experiencing in the here and now ( = .24), and Disturbed Relationships ( = .22). These findings indicate that dissociative experiences are particularly relevant for clinical patients with CPTSD. Future longitudinal work will be needed to determine if dissociation is a risk factor for, or outcome of, CPTSD.