What diagnostic tools are available?

by | 1 July 2012

Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders, Revised (SCID-D-R)A 277-item interview that assesses for amnesia, depersonalisation, derealisation, identity confusion, and identity alteration. Measures presence and severity of symptoms.DiagnosisSteinberg, 1994, 19994, 1995Clinician-administered
Dissociative Disorders Interview Schedule (DDIS)A 132-item structured interview that assesses the symptoms of the five DSM-IV dissociative disorders, somatisation disorder, borderline personality disorder, and major depressive disorder. The DDIS also assesses substance abuse, Schneiderian first-rank symptoms, trance, childhood abuse, secondary features of dissociative identity disorder, and supernatural/paranormal experiences. Measures presence of symptoms but not severity.DiagnosisRoss, 1997; Ross et al, 1989, 1990Clinician-administered
Multidimensional Inventory of Dissociation (MID)218-item instrument with 168 dissociation items and 50 validity items. Measures 23 dissociative symptoms and six response sets that serve as validity scales.DiagnosisDell, 2006Self-report (but scored by clinician)
Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES)28-item self-report instrument whose items screen primarily for absorption, imaginative involvement, depersonalization, derealisation, and amnesia.Screening onlyBernstein & Putnam, 1986, 1993Self-report
Dissociation Questionnaire (DIS-Q)

63-item self-report instrument which measures identity confusion and fragmentation, loss of control, amnesia, and absorption.

Developed in Belgium and The Netherlands, the DIS-Q is more commonly used by European than North American clinicians and researchers.

Screening onlyVanderlinden, 1993; Vanderlinden, Van Dyck, Vandereycken, Vertommen, & Verkes, 1993Self-report
Somatoform Dissociation Questionnaire-20 (SDQ-20)20-item instrument that uses a 5-point Likert scale to measure somatoform dissociation. The SDQ-20 items address tunnel vision, auditory distancing, muscle contractions, psychogenic blindness, difficulty urinating, insensitivity to pain, psychogenic paralysis, non-epileptic seizures, and so on. A shorter version, the SDQ-5, is composed of five items from the SDQ-5, is composed of five items from the SDQ-20Screening onlyNijenhuis, Spinhoven, Van Dyck, Van der Hart, & Vanderlinden, 1996, 1998; Nijenhuis et al, 1999Self-report


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Stigma is the double-whammy of life after trauma. Not only do we suffer abuse in childhood, perhaps resulting in a post traumatic or dissociative disorder in adulthood, but then we are stigmatised, shunned and shamed for it too. How can that be right?