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Veale D.,Kings College London | Veale D.,Center for Anxiety Disorders | Miles S.,Kings College London | Read J.,Kings College London | And 6 more authors.
Archives of Sexual Behavior | Year: 2015

Penile dysmorphic disorder (PDD) is shorthand for men diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder, in whom the size or shape of the penis is their main, if not their exclusive, preoccupation causing significant shame or handicap. There are no specific measures for identifying men with PDD compared to men who are anxious about the size of their penis but do not have PDD. Such a measure might be helpful for treatment planning, reducing unrealistic expectations, and measuring outcome after any psychological or physical intervention. Our aim was, therefore, to validate a specific measure, termed the Cosmetic Procedure Screening Scale for PDD (COPS-P). Eighty-one male participants were divided into three groups: a PDD group (n = 21), a small penis anxiety group (n = 37), and a control group (n = 23). All participants completed the COPS-P as well as standardized measures of depression, anxiety, social phobia, body image, quality of life, and erectile function. Penis size was also measured. The final COPS-P was based on nine items. The scale had good internal reliability and significant convergent validity with measures of related constructs. It discriminated between the PDD group, the small penis anxiety group, and the control group. This is the first study to develop a scale able to discriminate between those with PDD and men anxious about their size who did not have PDD. Clinicians and researchers may use the scale as part of an assessment for men presenting with anxiety about penis size and as an audit or outcome measure after any intervention for this population. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

Mouthaan J.,Center for Anxiety Disorders | Sijbrandij M.,VU University Amsterdam | Sijbrandij M.,EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research | Luitse J.S.K.,Trauma Unit | And 5 more authors.
Psychoneuroendocrinology | Year: 2014

Background: Decreased activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in response to stress is suspected to be a vulnerability factor for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Previous studies showed inconsistent findings regarding the role of cortisol in predicting PTSD. In addition, no prospective studies have examined the role of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), or its sulfate form DHEAS, and the cortisol-to-DHEA(S) ratio in predicting PTSD. In this study, we tested whether acute plasma cortisol, DHEAS and the cortisol-to-DHEAS ratio predicted PTSD symptoms at 6 weeks and 6 months post-trauma. Methods: Blood samples of 397 adult level-1 trauma center patients, taken at the trauma resuscitation room within hours after the injury, were analyzed for cortisol and DHEAS levels. PTSD symptoms were assessed at 6 weeks and 6 months post-trauma with the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale. Results: Multivariate linear regression analyses showed that lower cortisol predicted PTSD symptoms at both 6 weeks and 6 months, controlling for age, gender, time of blood sampling, injury, trauma history, and admission to intensive care. Higher DHEAS and a smaller cortisol-to-DHEAS ratio predicted PTSD symptoms at 6 weeks, but not after controlling for the same variables, and not at 6 months. Conclusions: Our study provides important new evidence on the crucial role of the HPA-axis in response to trauma by showing that acute cortisol and DHEAS levels predict PTSD symptoms in survivors of recent trauma. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

van Minnen A.,Radboud University Nijmegen | van Minnen A.,Center for Anxiety Disorders | Hendriks L.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Olff M.,University of Amsterdam
Behaviour Research and Therapy | Year: 2010

To investigate when and why therapists opt for or rule out imaginal exposure (IE) for patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 255 trauma experts were randomized to two conditions in which they were presented with four cases in which the patients' comorbidity and treatment preferences were manipulated. The results confirmed IE to be an underutilized approach, with the majority of professionals being undertrained in the technique. As predicted, the patient factors influenced the expert's choice of therapy: in case of a comorbid depression, IE was significantly less preferred than medication. Also, IE was significantly more likely to be offered when patients expressed a preference for trauma-focused treatment. The therapist factors were also found to be importantly related to treatment preferences, with high credibility in the technique being positively related to the therapists' preference for IE. Perceived barriers to IE, such as a fear of symptom exacerbation and dropout, were negatively related to the perceived suitability of the treatment when patients had suffered multiple traumas in childhood. The results are discussed in the light of clinical implications and the need of exposure training for trauma professionals. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Fleurkens P.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Fleurkens P.,Center for Anxiety Disorders | Rinck M.,Radboud University Nijmegen | van Minnen A.,Radboud University Nijmegen | van Minnen A.,Center for Anxiety Disorders
Journal of Anxiety Disorders | Year: 2011

The present study investigated specificity of attentional biases for trauma-related stimuli using an Emotional Stroop Task. Participants were 14 women suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who had experienced a sexual trauma and 24 healthy non-traumatized women. They were asked to name print colors of 4 different word types: threatening sexual violence words and non-threatening sexual words, threatening accident trauma words, and positive words. Compared to control participants, PTSD patients displayed increased interference by threatening trauma-related, but not by accident trauma and positive words. Interference by non-threatening sexual words occurred as well, but only in those patients who suffered from more severe PTSD arousal symptoms. These findings suggest graded generalization of the attentional bias across stimuli of varying emotional valence, but specificity regarding the trauma topic. Results are discussed in light of current cognitive models of PTSD, and clinical implications are suggested. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Fleurkens P.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Fleurkens P.,Center for Anxiety Disorders | Rinck M.,Radboud University Nijmegen | van Minnen A.,Radboud University Nijmegen | van Minnen A.,Center for Anxiety Disorders
European Journal of Psychotraumatology | Year: 2014

Background: Avoidance of stimuli that are associated with the traumatic event is a key feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Thus far, studies on the role of avoidance in the development and maintenance of PTSD focused primarily on strategic or explicit avoidance. However, patients may also show implicit avoidance behavior, which may remain even when explicit avoidance is reduced. Objectives: The present pilot study was designed to test the hypothesis that PTSD patients show implicit avoidance of threatening, trauma-related stimuli. In addition, it was tested whether this avoidance behavior also occurs for other stimuli. Methods: The Approach-Avoidance Task was used as an indirect measure of avoidance. Participants were 16 women suffering from PTSD who had experienced a sexual trauma, and 23 healthy non-traumatized women. Using a joystick, they pulled pictures closer to themselves or pushed them away. The pictures varied in content, being either high-threat sexual, non-threat sexual, high-threat accident, or positive. Results: Compared to control participants, PTSD patients avoided high-threat sexual pictures, and the degree of avoidance was predicted by self-reported arousal level. Moreover, PTSD patients with high levels of selfreported explicit avoidance, depressive symptoms, and PTSD symptom severity also avoided high-threat accident pictures. Conclusions: These findings point to the possible importance of threat value instead of trauma-relatedness in explaining implicit avoidance. The results are discussed in light of cognitive-behavioral models of PTSD, and clinical implications are suggested. © 2014 Pascal Fleurkens et al. Source

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