A review of dissociative disorders treatment studies.

Department of Psychology, Towson University, Towson, MD, USA.
The Journal of nervous and mental disease (Impact Factor: 1.77). 09/2009; 197(9):646-54. DOI: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181b3afaa
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This review examines empirical reports of treatment for Dissociative Disorders (DD), including 16 DD treatment outcome studies and 4 case studies that used standardized measures. Collectively, these reports suggest that treatment for DD is associated with decreased symptoms of dissociation, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, distress, and suicidality. Effect sizes, based on pre/post measures, are in the medium to large range across studies. Patients with dissociative disorder who integrated their dissociated self states were found to have reduced symptomatology compared with those who did not integrate. The magnitude of pre/post effect sizes for these DD studies are comparable to pre/post effect sizes in treatment studies of complex PTSD. There are significant methodological limitations in the current DD treatment outcome literature that reduce internal and external validity including regression towards the mean, limited sample sizes, and nonrandomized research designs. Implications for future research and treatment planning for patients suffering from DD are discussed.

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    ABSTRACT: Some people with dissociative identity disorder (DID) have very little communication or awareness among the parts of their identity, while others experience a great deal of cooperation among alternate identities. Previous research on this topic has been sparse. Currently, there is no empirical measure of integration versus fragmentation in a person with DID. In this study, we report the development of such a measure. The goal of this study was to pilot the integration measure (IM) and to address its psychometric properties and relationships to other measures. The IM is the first standardized measure of integration in DID. Eleven women with DID participated in an experiment that included a variety of tasks. They filled out questionnaires about trauma and dissociation as well as the IM. They also provided verbal results about switching among alternate identities during the study sessions. Participants switched among identities an average of 5.8 times during the first session, and switching was highly correlated with trauma. Integration was related to switching, though this relationship may be non-linear. Integration was not related to time in psychotherapy. The IM provides a useful beginning to quantify and study integration and fragmentation in DID. Directions for future research are also discussed, including expanding the IM from this pilot. The IM may be useful in treatment settings to assess progress or change over time.
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the challenges of conducting research on dissociation and the dissociative disorders, our understanding has grown greatly over the past three decades, including our knowledge of the often overlooked sensorimotor manifestations of dissociation, more commonly referred to as somatoform dissociation. This article will first review the definitions and presentations of dissociation in general along with recent research on the concept of somatoform dissociation. Then, each of the dissociative disorders and conversion disorder will be discussed in further detail as well as how they might present in a medical setting. Current recommendations for diagnosis and treatment will also be provided.
    Current Psychiatry Reports 10/2013; 15(10):398. · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Proponents of the iatrogenic model of the etiology of dissociative identity disorder (DID) have expressed concern that treatment focused on direct engagement and interaction with dissociated self-states harms DID patients. However, empirical data have shown that this type of DID treatment is beneficial. Analyzing data from the prospective Treatment of Patients With Dissociative Disorders (TOP DD) Study, we test empirically whether DID treatment is associated with clinically adverse manifestations of dissociated self-states: acting so differently that one feels like different people, hearing voices, and dissociative amnesia. We show that, over the course of the study, there were significant decreases in feeling like different people and hearing voices. These results indicate that this form of DID treatment does not lead to symptomatic worsening in these dimensions, as predicted by the iatrogenic model. Indeed, treatment provided by TOP DD therapists reduced, rather than increased, the extent to which patients experienced manifestations of pathological dissociation. Because severe symptomatology and impairment are associated with DID, iatrogenic harm may come from depriving DID patients of treatment that targets DID symptomatology.
    Journal of Trauma & Dissociation 01/2014; 15(1):52-65. · 1.72 Impact Factor


Available from
May 29, 2014