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22-02-2016 | Uitgave 3/2016

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 3/2016

The Expression of Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Daily Life: A Review of Experience Sampling Methodology and Daily Diary Studies

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment > Uitgave 3/2016
Charlotte A. Chun


This review examined the assessment of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in daily life using experience sampling methodology (ESM)/ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and daily diary studies in adult samples. Fifteen peer-reviewed studies were identified and categorized into areas of total PTSD/multiple PTSS (studies including three or more symptom clusters), intrusive memories, and mood and anxiety symptoms. Overall, ESM and the daily diary method proved feasible for assessing the real-world expression of PTSS, resulted in minimal reactivity, and offered a number of advantages over classical assessment. Even within the two measurement types of ESM and daily diary, there was great variability in study design and analysis. The benefits and limitations of the different approaches are discussed. Different themes in content emerged as well, such as coping strategies and affective instability throughout the course of a day. Gaps in our current understanding are highlighted and suggestions for methodology and future areas of research are proposed.

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