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J Trauma Dissociation. 2013;14(4):375-89. doi: 10.1080/15299732.2012.736931.

For better or worse: the role of revictimization and stress in the course of treatment for dissociative disorders.

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Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland, Bel Air, Maryland, USA.


Revictimization and life stressors are common among dissociative disorder (DD) patients, yet no studies have examined the prevalence rates for these experiences or their relationships with treatment outcome. This study aimed to examine the rates of revictimization and victimization of others using therapist-DD patient pairs from the naturalistic Treatment of Patients with Dissociative Disorders (TOP DD) study while also considering the role of revictimization and life stressors among 49 patients who greatly improved or worsened during 30 months of treatment. Therapists reported that sexual and physical revictimization in the previous 6 months was high among the patients (3.5%-7.0% and 4.1%-7.1% in the overall TOP DD sample, respectively), and emotional revictimization was quite high (29%-36%). Revictimization showed a decreasing trend over the 30 months of the study. Therapists reported that more than a quarter of the patients who were revictimized were also occasionally emotionally or physically abusive to others. More patients showed sudden improvement versus sudden worsening in patient-reported symptoms at 1 or more time point(s). Patients who improved had significantly fewer revictimizations and stressors overall than patients who worsened, suggesting that revictimization and/or stressors may contribute to worsening in treatment. Further research is needed to learn more about the roles of revictimization, victimization of others, and stressors in DD treatment. [Supplementary material is available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of Journal of Trauma & Dissociation for the following supplemental resource: Baseline Demographic Information of TOP DD Improving and Worsening Subgroups].

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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