The Effect of Depression on Self-Harm and Treatment Outcome in Patients With Severe Dissociative Disorders

Engelberg, Jeremy C.; Brand, Bethany L.
September 2012
Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research;Fall2012, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p115
Academic Journal
The first purpose of this study was to investigate whether patients diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID) with severe depression attempt suicide or self-harm more than patients with less severe depression. The second purpose was to determine whether depression severity had an effect on treatment outcome in patients with DID. This study used data gathered by researchers conducting the Treatment of Patients with Dissociative Disorders (TOP DD) study (Brand, Classen, Lanius etal., 2009; Brand et al., 2012). Patients completed self-report measures assessing a broad range of their adaptive and dysfunctional behaviors and symptoms. Analyses showed that depression severity had a statistically significant positive correlation with self-harm (r= .24, p< .001) and suicide attempts (r= .15, p= .02). Over 30 months of treatment, more severe depression was associated with less improvement of impulsive actions (R²= .039, p= .045), greater reduction in suicide attempts (p = .04), and greater involvement in social activities (R² = .053, p = .02). These findings suggest that patients diagnosed with DID who suffer from severe depression may be as likely to improve in many outcomes as those who are less severely depressed


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