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J Trauma Dissociation. 2012;13(2):190-208. doi: 10.1080/15299732.2012.642761.

Attachment and health care relationships in low-income women with trauma histories: a qualitative study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Georgetown University, 2115 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20007, USA. bgreen01@georgetown.edu


Few studies have examined the relationship between low-income, traumatized women and their health care providers. In this study we interviewed 23 women from primary care and social service settings for the underserved about trauma, attachment, psychiatric symptoms, and reports of their interactions with primary care providers. Nearly all reported trauma exposure, and 17% had current posttraumatic stress disorder. About half were categorized as Unresolved with regard to attachment state of mind. Analyses of a health experiences interview showed that women with Unresolved attachment reported significantly more negative interactions with providers. Attachment may play a role in the relationship between trauma and health care interactions with providers, indicating the need for further study of this relationship and suggesting intervention strategies to help both parties contribute to a more collaborative process.

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