Document Detail

Psychophysiological investigations of posttraumatic stress disorder imagery.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  2626518     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Physiological responses to self-generated imagery of past traumatic combat experiences were assessed in medication-free Vietnam combat veterans, classified on the basis of DSM-III-R (American Psychiatric Association 1987) criteria into posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD, n = 25), non-PTSD anxiety disorder (Anxious, n = 7), or no-mental-disorder (Healthy, n = 15) groups. "Scripts" describing each subject's combat experiences were read to him in the laboratory, and he was instructed to imagine the events the scripts portrayed, while heart rate, skin conductance, and frontalis electromyogram (EMG) were recorded. PTSD subjects' responses to their combat imagery were significantly higher than those of both control groups. A discriminant analysis identified 64 percent of PTSD subjects as physiological responders, and 100 percent of Anxious and 94 percent of Healthy subjects as nonresponders. A pilot study of imaginal flooding in three PTSD and two Healthy pilot subjects suggested that more prolonged, therapist-assisted imagery might increase the sensitivity of psychophysiological measures to PTSD, and that motor and endocrinological measures might also be of value in characterizing the disorder.
R K Pitman; S P Orr; G S Steketee
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychopharmacology bulletin     Volume:  25     ISSN:  0048-5764     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychopharmacol Bull     Publication Date:  1989  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1990-04-04     Completed Date:  1990-04-04     Revised Date:  2009-11-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0101123     Medline TA:  Psychopharmacol Bull     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  426-31     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / physiopathology,  psychology*

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