Psychological Medicine



Original Article

Unpacking the depersonalization syndrome: an exploratory factor analysis on the Cambridge Depersonalization Scale


MAURICIO SIERRA a1c1, DAWN BAKER a1, NICHOLAS MEDFORD a1 and ANTHONY S. DAVID a1
a1 Depersonalization Research Unit, Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, London

Article author query
sierra m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
baker d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
medford n   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
david as   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

Background. Depersonalization has long been considered a syndrome but there is poor agreement on its constituent symptoms.

Method. In order to establish whether different symptoms of depersonalization represent the expression of a single or several underlying dimensions, an exploratory factor analysis on the Cambridge Depersonalization Scale (CDS) was carried out on 138 consecutive patients diagnosed with depersonalization disorder.

Results. Four well determined factors accounting for 73·3% of the variance were extracted. These were labelled ‘Anomalous Body Experience’; ‘Emotional Numbing’; ‘Anomalous Subjective Recall’ and ‘Alienation from Surroundings’.

Conclusions. Symptoms of depersonalization belong to distinct but related psychopathological domains.


Correspondence:
c1 Depersonalization Research Unit, Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, PO Box 68, Denmark Hill 103, London SE5 8AZ. (Email: M.Sierra-Siegert@iop.kcl.ac.uk)


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