Evidence of the dissociative PTSD subtype: A systematic literature review of latent class and profile analytic studies of PTSD

Maj Hansen*, Jana Ross, Cherie Armour

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The dissociative PTSD (D-PTSD) subtype was first introduced into the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in 2013. Prior to this, studies using latent profile analysis (LPA) or latent class analysis (LCA), began to provide support for the D-PTSD construct and associated risk factors. This research is important, because dissociative symptoms in the context of PTSD may potentially interfere with treatment course or outcome. The aims of the present study were twofold: to systematically review the LCA and LPA studies investigating support for the D-PTSD construct; and to review the associated research on the risk factors or covariates of D-PTSD in the identified studies.

Six databases (PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, PILOTS, PsychInfo, and Embase) were systematically searched for relevant papers.

Eleven studies were included in the present review. The majority of the studies were supportive of the D-PTSD subtype; primarily characterized by depersonalization and derealization. Several covariates of the D-PTSD subtype have been investigated with mixed results.

Many limitations relate to the state of the current literature, including a small number of studies, the use of self-report measurements of PTSD, and heterogeneity across the samples in investigated covariates.

The results were overall supportive of the D-PTSD construct. Future research on D-PTSD and associated risk factors is needed to shed light on the possibilities of facilitating preventive actions, screening, and implications on treatment effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-69
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Early online date07 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2017


  • Depersonalization
  • Derealization
  • Dissociative PTSD
  • Latent structure
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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