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21-08-2018 | Original Article | Uitgave 1/2019

Cognitive Therapy and Research 1/2019

Assessing Trauma-Related Appraisals by Means of a Scenario-Based Approach

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 1/2019
Marcella L. Woud, Jan C. Cwik, Rianne A. de Kleine, Simon E. Blackwell, Felix Würtz, Jürgen Margraf
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Marcella L. Woud and Jan C. Cwik share first authorship as they contributed equally to the study and the paper.


Dysfunctional appraisals play a key role in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The present study investigated a novel method to assess dysfunctional appraisals via an online study, in which participants (N = 93) were asked to specify a distressing, negative life event and were then presented with ambiguous, open-ended trauma-related scenarios. Participants were asked to generate an ending by writing down their first, spontaneous continuation for each scenario. Results showed that a greater number of dysfunctional appraisals generated on the scenario task was associated with higher scores on the Posttraumatic Cognition Inventory (PTCI) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5). In regression analyses, scores on the scenario task were predictive of current posttraumatic stress symptoms; however, this relationship was no longer statistically significant after controlling for PTCI scores. These results contribute to the literature on dysfunctional appraisals in PTSD, supporting the validity of the scenario task and indicating its potential utility in complementing the PTCI as a measure of dysfunctional appraisal.

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