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Inconsistency in reporting potentially traumatic events


Hepp, U; Gamma, A; Milos, G; Eich, D; Ajdacic-Gross, V; Rössler, W; Angst, J; Schnyder, U (2006). Inconsistency in reporting potentially traumatic events. British Journal of Psychiatry, 188:278-283.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Research on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relies mainly on self-reports of exposure to trauma and its consequences. AIMS: To analyse the consistency of the reporting of potentially traumatic events (PTEs) over time. METHOD: A community-based cohort, representative of the canton of Zurich, Switzerland, was interviewed at the ages of 34-35 years (in 1993) and 40-41 years (in 1999). A semi-structured diagnostic interview, including a section on PTSD, was administered. RESULTS: Of the 342 participants who attended both interviews, 169 reported some PTE (1993, n=110; 1999, n=120). In 1999, 56 participants (33.1%) reported for the first time PTEs that actually occurred before 1993, but which had not been reported in the 1993 interview. In total, 68 participants (40.2%) who had reported a PTE in 1993 did not report it in 1999. The overall frequency of inconsistent reporting was 63.9%. CONCLUSIONS: The high level of inconsistency in the reporting of PTEs has implications for therapy as well as for research.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Research on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relies mainly on self-reports of exposure to trauma and its consequences. AIMS: To analyse the consistency of the reporting of potentially traumatic events (PTEs) over time. METHOD: A community-based cohort, representative of the canton of Zurich, Switzerland, was interviewed at the ages of 34-35 years (in 1993) and 40-41 years (in 1999). A semi-structured diagnostic interview, including a section on PTSD, was administered. RESULTS: Of the 342 participants who attended both interviews, 169 reported some PTE (1993, n=110; 1999, n=120). In 1999, 56 participants (33.1%) reported for the first time PTEs that actually occurred before 1993, but which had not been reported in the 1993 interview. In total, 68 participants (40.2%) who had reported a PTE in 1993 did not report it in 1999. The overall frequency of inconsistent reporting was 63.9%. CONCLUSIONS: The high level of inconsistency in the reporting of PTEs has implications for therapy as well as for research.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical and Social Psychiatry Zurich West (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Adult - Cohort Studies - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Female - Follow-Up Studies - Humans - Interview, Psychological - Life Change Events - Male - Mental Recall - Psychometrics - Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology - Truth Disclosure
Language:English
Date:2006
Deposited On:29 Sep 2011 12:43
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:01
Publisher:Royal College of Psychiatrists
ISSN:0007-1250
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.104.008102
PubMed ID:16507971

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