The Dissociative Subtype of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder : A Systematic Review of the Literature using the Latent Profile Analysis

A PTSD subtype with dissociative symptoms (D-PTSD) was included in the DSM-5 recognizing the existence of a more severe form of PTSD, associated to past trauma, high comorbidity, and complex clinical management. As research is rapidly growing and results are inconsistent, a better investigation of this subtype is of primary importance.


We conducted a systematic review of studies using Latent Profile Analysis to investigate the existence of a D-PTSD subtype. Covariates of D-PTSD were included, to understand additional symptoms, risk factors and comorbidities. The search was performed on PubMed, EBSCOHost, and PTSDPubs according to 2020 PRISMA guidelines. Eligible articles assessed trauma exposure, PTSD symptoms and diagnosis, and dissociation, in adult samples. 13 of 165 articles met the inclusion criteria. All identified a dissociative subtype of PTSD, mainly characterized by higher levels of depersonalization and derealization. D-PTSD profile sometimes presented other dissociative symptoms, such as gaps in awareness and memory, other comorbid disorders, and a history of abuse.


Despite some limitations, this review supports the existence of a dissociative subgroup of individuals among those with PTSD. More rigorous studies are needed to clarify these findings and their clinical implications.

Alberto Misitano, BSc, Andrea Stefano Moro , MSc, Mattia Ferro , PhD & Barbara Forresi, PhD | 2022
In: Journal of Trauma & Dissociation ; ISSN: 1529-9740
Online ahead of print DOI: 10.1080/15299732.2022.2120155
Adults, Comorbidity, Diagnosis, Dissociative Symptoms, Identification, Latent profile analysis, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Psychotrauma, PTSD (en), Systematic Review