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


Philip Hyland

Mark Shevlin

Claire Fyvie



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.


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.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 9, 2019
Online Publication Date Oct 4, 2019
Publication Date 2020-01
Deposit Date Jun 12, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 5, 2020
Journal Journal of Trauma & Dissociation
Print ISSN 1529-9732
Electronic ISSN 1529-9740
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 1
Pages 62-72
Keywords Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); Complex PTSD (CPTSD); ICD-11; dissociation.
Public URL


Final The Relationship Between ICD-11 PTSD Complex PTSD And Dissociative Experiences (677 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Trauma and Dissociation on 04/10/2019, available online:

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