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Title: Trauma-related processes in schizophrenia
Author: Malcolm, Charlotte P.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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Considerable evidence has established a link between trauma and schizophrenia, particularly hallucinations within schizophrenia. However, it remains unclear how trauma and schizophrenia are pheomenologically linked. The current study draws on an information processing account of the symptoms of both PTSD and schizophrenia to examine the role of prospective intrusive imagery, cumulative trauma and trait dissociation in the relationship between trauma and schizophrenia. The study explored the prevalence trauma and the distribution of trauma types for 30 participants with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder and 27 control participants. All participants completed measures of trauma, PTSO, general use of imagery, intrusive prospective imagery and trait dissociation and were compared on these measures. For clinical participants, associations between cumulative and trait dissociation and the phenomenological features of hallucinations were investigated. Those in the clinical group reported significantly more lifetime and accumulated trauma and intrusive prospective imagery relative to controls, but not greater use of general imagery. For clinical participants, 1) childhood onset cumulative trauma was related to distress associated with hallucinations; 2) trait dissociation was associated with distance of the hallucinations from the head, volume of hallucinations and increased distress associated with hallucinations; 3) the relationship between trauma and phenomenology of hallucinations was not mediated by trait dissociation. The findings build on prior research establishing elevated rates of trauma in schizophrenia and have implications for treatment and management of schizophrenia. The finding that there is greater prospective intrusive imagery reported in schizophrenia is consistent with an information processing account of intrusions and psychosis. The associations found between trauma, trait dissociation and phenomenology of hallucinations provides novel insights into how we understand theoretical accounts and treatment of psychosis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available