A Network Approach to Trauma, Dissociative Symptoms, and Psychosis Symptoms in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders

Schizophrenia Bulletin

Schlesselmann, A. J., Huntjens, R. J., Renard, S. B., McNally, R. J., Albers, C. J., De Vries, V. E., & Pijnenborg, G. H.

https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbac122

Abstract

Background: Dissociative experiences commonly occur in schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD). Yet little is known about how dissociative experiences in SSD are related to SSD symptoms. Accordingly, we investigated the relations between dissociative experiences and SSD symptoms, focusing on symptoms bridging these 2 symptom clusters as well as their relation to reported trauma history.

Study Design: Network analyses were conducted on the responses of 248 individuals with an SSD who enrolled from multiple mental health centers in The Netherlands. Dissociative experiences were assessed via the Dissociative Experience Scale, SSD symptoms using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, and trauma history through the Trauma History Questionnaire.

Study Results: The results indicated that dissociative symptoms in SSD are mostly independent of other symptoms, but that emotional distress bridges between the dissociative and SSD symptom clusters. Furthermore, results revealed associations between positive and negative SSD symptoms and trauma through emotional distress, whereas dissociative symptoms remained relatively isolated.

Conclusion: Because SSD symptoms and dissociative experiences clustered relatively independent from each other, our findings promote the idea of tailored treatment approaches for individuals with an SSD with frequent dissociative experiences, specifically targeting these symptoms.

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