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Dissociative symptoms in a substance abuse population
Am J Psychiatry 1993;150:1043-1047.
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study was intended to examine the extent of dissociative experiences that exist within a substance abuse population and to determine how demographic and clinical variables affect these experiences. METHOD: A total of 265 male veterans being treated on an inpatient substance abuse unit completed a standard test battery that included the MMPI-2, the Shipley-Hartford Institute of Living Scale, and the Dissociative Experiences Scale. Additional demographic and clinical information was obtained from the patients' medical records. RESULTS: Over 41% of the cohort had scores on the Dissociative Experiences Scale that suggested the need for further evaluation of a dissociative disorder. A stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that level of psychological discomfort, IQ, and race accounted for more than 24% of the variance in Dissociative Experiences Scale scores. CONCLUSIONS: Substance abuse populations may need to be routinely screened for dissociative symptoms just as they are for depression and anxiety.

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