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Title: The role of rumination in PTSD symptom maintenance : an analogue study
Author: Warnock, Kristen
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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It has been well-observed in the literature that not every individual who experiences a traumatic event will go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Given this, a key focus within the field has been the examination of those factors which might serve to maintain PTSD symptomatology. In recent years, the potential role of rumination within disorder maintenance has been afforded greater attention, with accumulating evidence from clinical and non-clinical (analogue) studies to suggest its involvement. The evidence-base in this area thus far is outlined, with particular consideration given to the trauma-film paradigm, and the experimental induction of post-event rumination in consideration of symptom development and maintenance. It is noted that the few analogue studies to date utilising this paradigm have yielded mixed findings, and it is proposed that the one-off, brief periods of state rumination typically induced may have been insufficient to adequately parallel clinical rumination. As such, this study sought to make a key adaptation to previous methodological approaches by extending the duration of the experimental manipulation to a one-week period, with repeated daily task completion between two testing sessions. The impact of induced rumination (compared to distraction) on selected PTSD-type symptoms was considered, both following the initial in-session experimental induction and after the extended week-long manipulation: specifically, the impact upon negative affect, intrusive images and physiological arousal (heart-rate response) was assessed. Physiological response to trauma-reminders was also examined as an index of stimulus generalisation. As in previous analogue studies, results were mixed: contrary to hypotheses, a main effect of inducedrumination on intrusive memories, affective change, or in-session physiological arousal was not indicated (with theexception of non-significant trend-level increases specific to anxious and fearful specific toanxiousand fearful mood). gical responses to reminders of trauma (when previous medical experience was controlled for). Limitations regarding the interpretation and generalisability of the presented findings are outlined, and tentative indications as to the way in which these results may fit with current theoretical understanding are considered. Finally, the potential implications for clinical practice, and directions for future research, are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available