Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 39–47 | Cite as

The Aetiology of Postpsychotic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Following a Psychotic Episode

  • Katharine Shaw
  • Alexander C. McFarlane
  • Clara Bookless
  • Tracy Air


This paper examines the aetiology of postpsychotic posttraumatic stress disorder (PP/PTSD) symptoms in a sample of participants who had been hospitalized following a psychotic episode. Forty two people hospitalized for a psychotic illness were interviewed during recovery to investigate whether a psychotic episode was associated with PTSD symptomatology. All participants found psychosis and hospitalization highly distressing. PP/PTSD symptoms were not associated with demographic factors, previous trauma, treatment, or insight. The PP/PTSD group reported more distress and intrusive memories associated with illness and treatment experiences and had higher scores for anxiety and dissociative symptoms. The development of PP/PTSD phenomenology was associated with the psychological distress of the experience.

psychosis posttraumatic stress disorder aetiology 


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Copyright information

© International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharine Shaw
    • 1
  • Alexander C. McFarlane
    • 2
  • Clara Bookless
    • 2
  • Tracy Air
    • 2
  1. 1.Seager VillaSunnyside HospitalAddington, ChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Adelaide, The Queen Elizabeth HospitalWoodville SouthSouth Australia

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