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Am J Psychiatry. 1995 Jan;152(1):116-20.

Arousal, numbing, and intrusion: symptom structure of PTSD following assault.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Pennsylvania, Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Philadelphia, 19129.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study investigated hypotheses concerning the importance of symptoms of numbing in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

METHODS:

Symptoms of PTSD were assessed in 72 female rape victims and 86 female victims of nonsexual assault approximately 3 months after the crimes occurred. A principal-components factor analysis of subjects' symptoms was then undertaken.

RESULTS:

The analysis yielded three factors: arousal/avoidance, numbing, and intrusion. These were somewhat different from the symptom clusters in DSM-III-R, since effortful avoidance and numbing symptoms did not load on the same factor. Numbing symptoms appeared to be particularly important in identifying individuals with PTSD.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results imply that there are two patterns of posttrauma symptoms, one characterizing PTSD and the second characterizing a phobic reaction.

PMID:
7802101
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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