Peritraumatic dissociation and PTSD effects on physiological response patterns in sexual assault victims

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Peritraumatic dissociation has consistently been found to be strongly correlated with PTSD. Yet it was unclear how peritraumatic dissociation affected the physiological responses of individuals with or without PTSD. Eighty-six women with a history of attempted or completed sexual assault were recruited to participate. Script-driven imagery procedures were used to assess changes in heart rate and skin conductance responses of the women during a neutral, positive, fearful, and trauma-related script. The pattern of physiological responses suggested that peritraumatic dissociation was associated with elevated physiological responses. Peritraumatic dissociation also seemed to accentuate physiological responses to general threat cues in sexual assault survivors without PTSD as well as to trauma-specific cues in survivors with PTSD. The pattern of responses during each script was also specific to the participants' self-reported peritraumatic dissociation and level of PTSD symptoms. These findings suggested that it would behoove clinicians working with survivors of trauma to assess for peritraumatic dissociation even if PTSD is not present, as it may inform decisions about the length of exposure treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-200
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

Fingerprint

Dissociative Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Survivors
Cues
Wounds and Injuries
Imagery (Psychotherapy)
Heart Rate
Skin

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

@article{12e942580d344e5aa348e646b834d752,
title = "Peritraumatic dissociation and PTSD effects on physiological response patterns in sexual assault victims",
abstract = "Peritraumatic dissociation has consistently been found to be strongly correlated with PTSD. Yet it was unclear how peritraumatic dissociation affected the physiological responses of individuals with or without PTSD. Eighty-six women with a history of attempted or completed sexual assault were recruited to participate. Script-driven imagery procedures were used to assess changes in heart rate and skin conductance responses of the women during a neutral, positive, fearful, and trauma-related script. The pattern of physiological responses suggested that peritraumatic dissociation was associated with elevated physiological responses. Peritraumatic dissociation also seemed to accentuate physiological responses to general threat cues in sexual assault survivors without PTSD as well as to trauma-specific cues in survivors with PTSD. The pattern of responses during each script was also specific to the participants' self-reported peritraumatic dissociation and level of PTSD symptoms. These findings suggested that it would behoove clinicians working with survivors of trauma to assess for peritraumatic dissociation even if PTSD is not present, as it may inform decisions about the length of exposure treatment.",
author = "Hetzel-Riggin, {Melanie Dyan}",
year = "2010",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1037/a0019892",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "2",
pages = "192--200",
journal = "Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy",
issn = "1942-9681",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Peritraumatic dissociation and PTSD effects on physiological response patterns in sexual assault victims

AU - Hetzel-Riggin, Melanie Dyan

PY - 2010/9/1

Y1 - 2010/9/1

N2 - Peritraumatic dissociation has consistently been found to be strongly correlated with PTSD. Yet it was unclear how peritraumatic dissociation affected the physiological responses of individuals with or without PTSD. Eighty-six women with a history of attempted or completed sexual assault were recruited to participate. Script-driven imagery procedures were used to assess changes in heart rate and skin conductance responses of the women during a neutral, positive, fearful, and trauma-related script. The pattern of physiological responses suggested that peritraumatic dissociation was associated with elevated physiological responses. Peritraumatic dissociation also seemed to accentuate physiological responses to general threat cues in sexual assault survivors without PTSD as well as to trauma-specific cues in survivors with PTSD. The pattern of responses during each script was also specific to the participants' self-reported peritraumatic dissociation and level of PTSD symptoms. These findings suggested that it would behoove clinicians working with survivors of trauma to assess for peritraumatic dissociation even if PTSD is not present, as it may inform decisions about the length of exposure treatment.

AB - Peritraumatic dissociation has consistently been found to be strongly correlated with PTSD. Yet it was unclear how peritraumatic dissociation affected the physiological responses of individuals with or without PTSD. Eighty-six women with a history of attempted or completed sexual assault were recruited to participate. Script-driven imagery procedures were used to assess changes in heart rate and skin conductance responses of the women during a neutral, positive, fearful, and trauma-related script. The pattern of physiological responses suggested that peritraumatic dissociation was associated with elevated physiological responses. Peritraumatic dissociation also seemed to accentuate physiological responses to general threat cues in sexual assault survivors without PTSD as well as to trauma-specific cues in survivors with PTSD. The pattern of responses during each script was also specific to the participants' self-reported peritraumatic dissociation and level of PTSD symptoms. These findings suggested that it would behoove clinicians working with survivors of trauma to assess for peritraumatic dissociation even if PTSD is not present, as it may inform decisions about the length of exposure treatment.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77957597540&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77957597540&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/a0019892

DO - 10.1037/a0019892

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:77957597540

VL - 2

SP - 192

EP - 200

JO - Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy

JF - Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy

SN - 1942-9681

IS - 3

ER -