Enquiring about traumatic experiences in psychosis: A comparison of case notes and self-report questionnaires

Twylla Cunningham*, Ciaran Shannon, Ivor Crothers, Katrina Hoy, Carly Fitzsimmons, Riona McCann, John O’Hare, Ciaran Mulholland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Studies have found an association between a history of trauma and the presence of psychotic symptoms. Despite the research evidence it appears to be the case that many clinicians are not routinely asking about traumatic experiences. This study aims to ascertain the level of agreement between rates of self-reported trauma and that which is recorded in case notes.

Methods: The study population was drawn from all individuals with a confirmed diagnosis of psychosis, residing within a defined catchment area. Rates of childhood trauma, lifetime trauma and trauma related to the Troubles in Northern Ireland recorded in participants’ case notes were compared to their responses on self-report questionnaires: THQ, CTQ and TREQ.

Results: Relatively high levels of trauma were reported by participants on the self-report measures that were administered. The rates of trauma recorded in case note records were similar to that found in other studies. Also in line with other research were poor levels of agreement between self-report and case note data.

Conclusion: High levels of lifetime, childhood and trauma related to the Troubles in Northern Ireland were found when the individuals in the sample were directly assessed for the purposes of this study. In contrast much lower rates were recorded in patient notes on routine clinical assessment. The results suggest that clinicians do not routinely enquire about trauma histories with this population and as a result, case notes underestimate trauma prevalence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-310
Number of pages10
JournalPsychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches
Volume8
Issue number4
Early online date08 Jan 2016
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 08 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • case note analysis
  • psychosis
  • self-report
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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