Research Output

The relationship between ICD-11 PTSD, complex PTSD and dissociative experiences

  Debate exists in the trauma literature regarding the role of dissociation in traumatic stress disorders. With the release of the new ICD-11 diagnostic guideline for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex PTSD (CPTSD), this issue warrants further attention. In the current study, we provide a preliminary assessment of the associations between ICD-11 CPTSD and dissociative experiences. This study is based on a sample (N = 106) of highly traumatised clinical patients from the United Kingdom who completed measures of traumatic stress and dissociative experiences. The majority of participants met the diagnostic criteria for CPTSD (69.1%, n = 67), with few patients qualifying for a diagnosis of PTSD (9.3%, n = 9). Those with CPTSD had significantly higher levels of dissociative experiences compared to those with PTSD (Cohen’s d = 1.04) and those with no diagnosis (Cohen’s d = 1.44). Three CPTSD symptom clusters were multivariately associated with dissociation: Affective Dysregulation (β = .33), Re-experiencing in the here and now (β = .24), and Disturbed Relationships (β = .22). These findings indicate that dissociative experiences are particularly relevant for clinical patients with CPTSD. Future longitudinal work will be needed to determine if dissociation is a risk factor for, or outcome of, CPTSD.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    04 October 2019

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    RC Internal medicine

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    616.8 Nervous & mental disorders

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Hyland, P., Shevlin, M., Fyvie, C., Cloitre, M., & Karatzias, T. (2020). The relationship between ICD-11 PTSD, complex PTSD and dissociative experiences. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 21(1), 62-72.



Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); Complex PTSD (CPTSD); ICD-11; dissociation.

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