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    Collett, Nicola Pugh, Katherine Waite, Felicity and Freeman, Daniel 2016. Negative cognitions about the self in patients with persecutory delusions: An empirical study of self-compassion, self-stigma, schematic beliefs, self-esteem, fear of madness, and suicidal ideation. Psychiatry Research, Vol. 239, p. 79.


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Paranoia and post-traumatic stress disorder in the months after a physical assault: a longitudinal study examining shared and differential predictors

  • D. Freeman (a1), C. Thompson (a2), N. Vorontsova (a2), G. Dunn (a3), L.-A. Carter (a3), P. Garety (a2), E. Kuipers (a2), M. Slater (a4) (a5), A. Antley (a1) (a4), E. Glucksman (a6) and A. Ehlers (a7)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S003329171300038X
  • Published online: 27 March 2013
Abstract
Background

Being physically assaulted is known to increase the risk of the occurrence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms but it may also skew judgements about the intentions of other people. The objectives of the study were to assess paranoia and PTSD after an assault and to test whether theory-derived cognitive factors predicted the persistence of these problems.

Method

At 4 weeks after hospital attendance due to an assault, 106 people were assessed on multiple symptom measures (including virtual reality) and cognitive factors from models of paranoia and PTSD. The symptom measures were repeated 3 and 6 months later.

Results

Factor analysis indicated that paranoia and PTSD were distinct experiences, though positively correlated. At 4 weeks, 33% of participants met diagnostic criteria for PTSD, falling to 16% at follow-up. Of the group at the first assessment, 80% reported that since the assault they were excessively fearful of other people, which over time fell to 66%. Almost all the cognitive factors (including information-processing style during the trauma, mental defeat, qualities of unwanted memories, self-blame, negative thoughts about self, worry, safety behaviours, anomalous internal experiences and cognitive inflexibility) predicted later paranoia and PTSD, but there was little evidence of differential prediction.

Conclusions

Paranoia after an assault may be common and distinguishable from PTSD but predicted by a strikingly similar range of factors.

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Copyright
The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/>. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: D. Freeman, Ph.D., Oxford Cognitive Approaches to Psychosis, University Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK. (Email: daniel.freeman@psych.ox.ac.uk)
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