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Title: The effects of training an interpretation bias on later intrusive recollection in an analogue study of post traumatic stress disorder
Author: Postma, Peggy.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3496 8296
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2007
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Background Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) describes a cluster of symptoms that commonly occur as a reaction to a traumatic event. Hallmark symptoms are intrusive memories of these events. Such intrusive re-experiencing in the initial aftermath of trauma is a common experience and is believed to be part of normal adaptation. However in some individuals these symptoms will persist with often devastating consequences. Little is known about factors which might determine differential presentation following trauma. Evidence suggests that characteristics of early intrusions, including whether they are experienced as distressing or not, are predictive of PTSD. A factor implicated in such a negative experience is maladaptive appraisal of the trauma event and its aftermath (Ehlers & Clark, 2000). Studies have shown relationships between maladaptive trauma-related thoughts and beliefs (such as those measured by the Post Traumatic Cognitions Inventory (PTCI; Foa, Ehlers, Clark, Tolin, & Orsillo, 1999) and level of post-traumatic psychopathology. Method This study directly manipulated these potentially maladaptive cognitions, using Cognitive Bias Manipulation (CBM) techniques, with the intention of altering the quality/quantity of intrusions following an analogue trauma experience. Participants completed negative or positive training designed to alter trauma related beliefs, before experiencing distressing films. In the week following the laboratory session, participants completed diaries recording quantity and quality of their film related intrusions. Results Intrusion number was not influenced by CBM training condition, but the distress experienced during the intrusion was, with positively trained individuals experiencing less distress. CBM training succeeded in influencing both degree of distress from intrusions and the post-film scores on the PTCI, which were themselves correlated with participants' distress. Conclusion This study is the first of its kind to show that it is possible to manipulate appraisal of trauma-related beliefs, and furthermore that such an intervention affects analogue trauma symptoms. Implications for clinical application are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available