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Title: An experimental trauma film study to investigate the role of peri-traumatic cognitive processing on post-event PTSD symptoms and trauma memory
Author: Hallett, Claudia Margaret Elaine
ISNI:       0000 0004 7656 1007
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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BACKGROUND: In recent years there has been emerging empirical support for the hypothesis that the mode of processing adopted in relation to trauma can impact upon outcomes in trauma-exposed individuals. Specifically “abstract” and “concrete” cognitive processing styles have been found to exert negative and positive outcomes respectively. However, at present the mechanisms by which these processing modes exert their effects on outcomes remains unclear. OBJECTIVES: By means of a systematic narrative review, we investigated the effects of “abstract” and “concrete” cognitive processing styles on outcomes in trauma-exposed individuals, and looked for evidence of the possible mechanisms by which these processing modes may be operating. METHODS: A systematic search was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO databases. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they were published in a peer-reviewed journal, conducted on an adult population, included exposure to a trauma or an analogue trauma/stressor, as well as containing a manipulation or measurement of either “abstract” or “concrete” processing. RESULTS: 12 articles were included in the review, providing data from 14 studies. Eight studies were experimental in design, four were cross-sectional and two were longitudinal. Abstract processing was shown to lower mood, increase intrusions and levels of arousal. CONCLUSIONS: Abstract processing may be a cognitive avoidance strategy, which hinders the emotional processing of trauma, and thus perpetuates traumatic symptoms. Future studies should examine the effects of processing mode on appraisals of and memory for the trauma in order to shed further light on this cognitive processing mechanism.
Supervisor: Wild, Jennifer Claire ; Smith, Patrick Anthony Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available