Dissociative disorder and traumatic events. A study of the Spanish population


  • M. T. Bru Corporació Sanitària Parc Taulí Sabadell (Barcelona) (Spain)
  • M. Santamaría Corporació Sanitària Parc Taulí Sabadell (Barcelona) (Spain)
  • R. Coronas Corporació Sanitària Parc Taulí Sabadell (Barcelona) (Spain)
  • J. V. Cobo Corporació Sanitària Parc Taulí Sabadell (Barcelona) (Spain)


Dissociative disorder, Traumatic event, Child trauma, Conversive disorder, Spain


Dissociative disorder is relatively uncommon. It has been associated to the presence of traumatic events and especially to sexual abuse in childhood. Our study presents a clinical sample of 36 patients with dissociative disorder, prospectively evaluated with standardized scales in an outpatient department of general psychiatry. The sample is mainly made up of married (86.1%) women (34/36), from middle-low class with important comorbidity (38.9% affective disorders, 52.8% conversive disorders, 41.7% anxiety disorders and 38.9%, personality disorders). Our results show a high rate of childhood traumatic events (58.3%) and a background of sexual abuse (27.8%) in this population as well as other traumatic events in adulthood (55.6%). The prevalence of any traumatic event (27/36) is higher than in the general Spanish population. However, sexual abuse is only slightly higher than the estimated rate of sexual abuse in childhood. Higher scores on the traumatic event scale are correlated with the severity of dissociative symptoms. Only traumatic sexual traumas in childhood correlate with the severity of dissociative features measured by the DES (Dissociative Experiences Scale). Age of the first traumatic event does not correlate with severity of dissociative symptoms. A background of traumatic sexual abuse in childhood is the only factor related with a higher presence of comorbid affective disorders and conversive disorders.



How to Cite

Bru, M. T., et al. “Dissociative Disorder and Traumatic Events. A Study of the Spanish Population”. Actas Españolas De Psiquiatría, vol. 37, no. 4, July 2009, pp. 200-4, https://actaspsiquiatria.es/index.php/actas/article/view/853.