Epidemiology Research International
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 404538, 8 pages
Review Article

Epidemiology of Dissociative Disorders: An Overview

Department of Psychiatry, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, 34390 Capa, Istanbul, Turkey

Received 9 January 2011; Accepted 7 March 2011

Academic Editor: Huibert Burger

Copyright © 2011 Vedat Sar. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


General psychiatric assessment instruments do not cover DSM-IV dissociative disorders. Many large-scale epidemiological studies led to biased results due to this deficit in their methodology. Nevertheless, screening studies using diagnostic tools designed to assess dissociative disorders yielded lifetime prevalence rates around 10% in clinical populations and in the community. Special populations such as psychiatric emergency ward applicants, drug addicts, and women in prostitution demonstrated the highest rates. Data derived from epidemiological studies also support clinical findings about the relationship between childhood adverse experiences and dissociative disorders. Thus, dissociative disorders constitute a hidden and neglected public health problem. Better and early recognition of dissociative disorders would increase awareness about childhood traumata in the community and support prevention of them alongside their clinical consequences.