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Auditory Hallucinations and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Within Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse

Steel, Craig PhD*; Haddock, Gillian PhD; Tarrier, Nicholas PhD; Picken, Alicia BSc; Barrowclough, Christine PhD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: September 2011 - Volume 199 - Issue 9 - p 709-711
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318229d6e8
Brief Reports

There is a high prevalence of traumatic events within individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and of auditory hallucinations within individuals diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the relationship among the symptoms associated with these disorders remains poorly understood. We conducted a multidimensional assessment of auditory hallucinations within a sample diagnosed with schizophrenia and substance abuse, both with and without comorbid PTSD. The results suggest a rate of comorbid PTSD similar to those reported in other studies. Patients who have comorbid PTSD reported more distressing auditory hallucinations. However, the hallucinations were not more frequent or of longer duration. The need for a multidimensional assessment is supported. The results are discussed within current theoretical accounts of traumatic psychosis.

*Department of Psychology, University of Reading, Early Gate, Reading, UK; and †School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

This study was supported by a grant from the Medical Research Council, United Kingdom.

Send reprint requests to Craig Steel, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Reading, Early Gate, Reading, RG6 6AL. UK. E-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.