Childhood trauma and dissociation in women with pseudoseizure-type conversion disorder

Ozcetin A., BELLI H., ERTEM U., Bahcebasi T., Ataoglu A., Canan F.

NORDIC JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, vol.63, no.6, pp.462-468, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 63 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.3109/08039480903029728
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.462-468
  • Keywords: Childhood trauma, Conversion, Dissociation, Pseudoseizure, DIS-Q, ABUSE, EXPERIENCES, ADOLESCENTS, SYMPTOMS, POPULATION, PREVALENCE, INPATIENTS, FREQUENCY
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: No


Background: Conversion disorder is thought to be associated with psychological factors because of the presence of conflict and other stressors prior to the condition. Aim: The aim of this study is to compare adult patients with pseudoseizure-type conversion disorder with healthy control group in terms of childhood trauma, dissociative disorder and family history of psychiatric disorders. Method : 56 female patients were admitted to the general psychiatry hospital outpatient clinic between January and July 2005. All patients had a negative experience about their families just before having the conversion. Diagnosis was made according to the DSM-IV criteria. A control group consisting of similar patient demographics of the disease group has been selected. Socio-demographic information forms, the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) and Dissociation Questionnaire (DIS-Q), were completed on the patients. Results: CTQ total (t = 12.12, P < 0.001) and subscales, emotional abuse and emotional neglect (EA-EN) (t = 12.74, P < 0.001), physical abuse (PA) (t = 10.05, P < 0.001), and sexual abuse (SA) (t = 7.69, P < 0.001) were significantly high in the conversion group. DIS-Q mean points were statistically higher in the conversion group (t = 11.05, P < 0.001). Conclusions: The findings suggest that pseudoseizures (conversion disorder) should be included within dissociative disorders in DSM system as in ICD. It is usually uncommon for the patient to tell about childhood trauma without being specially questioned about this issue. Thus, it would be helpful to uncover these experiences by using related scales in conversion disorder patients.