Management of traumatic events: influence of emotion-centered coping strategies on the occurrence of dissociation and post-traumatic stress disorder
Georges Brousse1,2, Benjamin Arnaud1, Jordane Durand Roger1, Julie Geneste1, Delphine Bourguet1, Frederic Zaplana1, Olivier Blanc1, Jeannot Schmidt1,2, Louis Jehel3
1CHU Clermont Ferrand, Unité Urgences Psychiatriques, 28 place Henri Dunant BP 69, 63003 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 01, France; 2Univ Clermont 1, UFR médecine, Clermont-Ferrand, F63001 France; 3Hopital Tenon (CHU APHP) 4 rue de la Chine 75020, France, INSERM U669
Abstract: Our aim was to assess the influence of the coping strategies employed for the management of traumatic events on the occurrence of dissociation and traumatic disorders. We carried out a 1-year retrospective study of the cognitive management of a traumatic event in 18 subjects involved in the same road vehicle accident. The diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was made for 33.3% of the participants. The participants with a PTSD diagnosis 1 year after the event used emotion-centered strategies during the event more often than did those with no PTSD, P < 0.02. In the year after the traumatic event, our results show a strong link between the intensity of PTSD and the severity of the post-traumatic symptoms like dissociation (P = 0.032) and the use of emotion-centered strategies (P = 0.004). Moreover, the participants who presented Peritraumatic Dissociative Experiences Questionnaire scores above 15 made greater use of emotion-centered coping strategies than did those who did not show dissociation, P < 0.04. Our results confirm that the cognitive management of traumatic events may play an essential role in the development of a state of post-traumatic stress in the aftermath of a violent event.
Keywords: trauma, coping, emotions, peritraumatic dissociation, post-traumatic stress disorder
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