Unrecognized trauma and PTSD among public mental health consumers with chronic and severe mental illness

Karen J. Cusack, Anouk L. Grubaugh, Rebecca G. Knapp, B. Christopher Frueh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lifetime prevalence of traumatic events and current PTSD was assessed among 142 mental health consumers with serious mental illness served by a psychosocial rehabilitation day program. Lifetime exposure to trauma was high (87%). The rate of PTSD based on the PTSD Checklist (PCL) was also high (19-30% depending on different scoring criteria). Overall, the PCL had strong internal reliability for this sample. Documentation of trauma and PTSD was exceptionally low in medical records. Results suggest that trauma and PTSD are significantly overlooked in the public mental health system. Improved recognition of trauma and PTSD are needed in order to provide meaningful services to this highly vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-500
Number of pages14
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2006

Keywords

  • Community mental health
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Severe mental illness
  • Traumatic events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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