The role that cognitive processing of a recent trauma has in the occurrence of hallucinations has not been examined longitudinally. This study investigated trauma-related cognitive predictors of hallucinations in the months following an interpersonal assault. Four weeks after treatment at an emergency department for interpersonal assault injuries, 106 participants were assessed for peri-traumatic cognitive processing, cognitive responses to trauma memories, negative beliefs about the self, Posttraumatic-stress disorder (PTSD), and hallucinatory experiences. Hallucinatory experiences were reassessed six months later. Cognitive processing during trauma (lack of self-referential processing, and dissociation), beliefs about permanent negative change, self-vulnerability, and self-blame and cognitive response styles (thought suppression, rumination, and numbing) were significant predictors of later hallucinations. The way in which trauma is processed may partly determine the occurrence of hallucinations.
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Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.