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Capturing intrusive re-experiencing in trauma survivors’ daily lives using ecological momentary assessment


Kleim, Birgit; Graham, Belinda; Bryant, Richard A; Ehlers, Anke (2013). Capturing intrusive re-experiencing in trauma survivors’ daily lives using ecological momentary assessment. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 122(4):998-1009.

Abstract

Intrusive memories are common following traumatic events and among the hallmark symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most studies assess summarized accounts of intrusions retrospectively. We used an ecological momentary approach and index intrusive memories in trauma survivors with and without PTSD using electronic diaries. Forty-six trauma survivors completed daily diaries for 7 consecutive days recording a total of 294 intrusions. Participants with PTSD experienced only marginally more intrusions than those without PTSD, but experienced them with more “here and now quality,” and responded with more fear, helplessness, anger, and shame than those without PTSD. Most frequent intrusion triggers were stimuli that were perceptually similar to stimuli from the trauma. Individuals with PTSD experienced diary-prompted voluntary trauma memories with the same sense of nowness and vividness as involuntary intrusive trauma memories. The findings contribute to a better understanding of everyday experiences of intrusive reexperiencing in trauma survivors with PTSD and offer clinical treatment implications.

Abstract

Intrusive memories are common following traumatic events and among the hallmark symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most studies assess summarized accounts of intrusions retrospectively. We used an ecological momentary approach and index intrusive memories in trauma survivors with and without PTSD using electronic diaries. Forty-six trauma survivors completed daily diaries for 7 consecutive days recording a total of 294 intrusions. Participants with PTSD experienced only marginally more intrusions than those without PTSD, but experienced them with more “here and now quality,” and responded with more fear, helplessness, anger, and shame than those without PTSD. Most frequent intrusion triggers were stimuli that were perceptually similar to stimuli from the trauma. Individuals with PTSD experienced diary-prompted voluntary trauma memories with the same sense of nowness and vividness as involuntary intrusive trauma memories. The findings contribute to a better understanding of everyday experiences of intrusive reexperiencing in trauma survivors with PTSD and offer clinical treatment implications.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords:Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry and Mental health, Biological Psychiatry
Language:English
Date:November 2013
Deposited On:18 Feb 2022 15:21
Last Modified:27 Jun 2024 01:36
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0021-843X
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/a0034957
PubMed ID:24364602
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)