Evaluation of diagnostic procedures

This is the first of a series of five articles

Long-term assessment of personality after burn trauma in adults.

Several studies have shown that burn victims display higher rates of premorbid
psychopathology, such as depression, substance abuse, and personality disorders, than the
general population (Patterson et al., 1993).

Predicting medically unexplained physical symptoms and health care utilization : A symptom-perception approach.



The present study investigated the contribution of demographic characteristics (age, gender, socioeconomic status [SES]) and symptom-perception variables to unexplained physical symptoms and health care utilization. In addition, the consequences of the use of four frequently applied symptom-detection methods for relations among study variables were examined.


The genetic aetiology of somatic distress.



Somatoform disorders such as neurasthenia and chronic fatigue syndrome are characterized by a combination of prolonged mental and physical fatigue. This study aimed to investigate the heritability of somatic distress and determine whether this dimension is aetiologically distinct from measures of depression and anxiety.


Health Problems Among Latin-American and Middle-Eastern Refugees in the Netherlands: Relations With Violence Exposure and Ongoing Sociopsychological Strain

In two studies (n = 480; n = 156), the health problems (somatic, psychological, and migration-related complaints) of refugees were examined, in relation to violence, demographic, and asylum variables (ongoing sociopsychological strain). High frequencies for torture events and a substantial number of medical complaints were reported, but few cases ofdiagnosable Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) were identified (Study I: 6%; Study II: 11%). Not only reported violence, but also the current social situation contributed to the experiencing of ongoing health complaints.

Nocturnal Re-Experiencing More Than Forty Years After War Trauma

The aim of this study was the examination of Posttraumatic Nightmares (PTNM) and Posttraumatic Anxiety Dreams (PTAD) in Dutch combat veterans and World War II victims. Participants (outpatients; n = 223) were administered a standardized psychiatric interview, the Impact of Event Scale, the SCL-90, the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale, and an interview on posttraumatic nocturnal re-experiencing. Prevalence of PTNM was 56%. Patients with PTNM, even those who were not diagnosed with PTSD, had significantly more psychiatric complaints than patients with no PTNM.

Memory, Abuse, and Science : Questioning Claims about the False Memory Syndrome Epidemic

Careful assessment of purported scientific discoveries and the resulting interpretations is a responsibility of every scientist. The area of memory, particularly memory for abuse, has recently seen new, highly publicized claims. These include the proposal of a new diagnostic category, the false memory syndrome; claims about the ease with which extensive autobiographical memories can be implanted; and estimates of the extent therapists use risky practices likely to cause false memory syndrome. This article suggests questions to evaluate these claims and the methods used to promote them.