Illness perceptions in depersonalization disorder: testing an illness attribution model

Baker, Dawn, Earle, Michelle, Medford, Nicholas, Sierra, Mauricio, Towell, Anthony and David, Anthony (2007) Illness perceptions in depersonalization disorder: testing an illness attribution model. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 14 (2). pp. 105-116. ISSN 1063-3995

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Abstract

Depersonalization disorder (DPD) remains poorly understood and
controversial in terms of diagnosis and treatment. Little is known
about the cognitive representation of this disorder. In this study, 80
participants with DPD were assessed using the Revised Illness Perception
Questionnaire to determine the nature of their perceptions,
causal attributions and whether these correlate with levels of depersonalization
and affect. Illness perceptions were generally negative;
the nature of symptoms was described as mainly psychological but
causal attributions were equally divided between psychological and
physical. Over half of the sample believed that symptoms were due
to ‘physical changes in the brain’. A strong illness identity, psychological
illness attributions and high levels of depression were associated
with greater depersonalization disorder severity. High levels of
anxiety were also prevalent but the relationship between anxiety and
depersonalization was unclear. The findings offer some support
for a cognitive model of understanding depersonalization disorder,
namely that attribution processes are linked to perceived symptom
severity and a wide range of experiences come to be seen as part of
the disorder. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Depositing User: Jonathan Williams
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2015 12:14
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 06:55
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/56177

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