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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2013 Aug;48(8):1199-209. doi: 10.1007/s00127-013-0689-8. Epub 2013 Apr 23.

Trauma and current symptoms of PTSD in a South East London community.

Author information

1
Academic Department Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, 10 Cutcombe Road, London, SE5 9RJ, UK. Souci.1.frissa@kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its association with traumatic events in a representative sample of an inner city population in the UK.

METHODS:

A representative community sample of 1,698 adults, aged 16 years and over, from two south London boroughs were interviewed face to face with structured survey questionnaires.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of current symptoms of PTSD was 5.5 %. Women were more likely to screen positive (6.4 %) than men (3.6 %), and symptoms of PTSD were high in the unemployed (12.5 %), in those not working because of health reasons (18.2 %) and in the lowest household income group (14.8 %). Most (78.2 %) of the study population had lifetime trauma and more than a third (39.7 %) reported childhood trauma. There was an independent association between childhood as well as lifetime trauma and current symptoms of PTSD and a gradient association between an increase in cumulative traumatic events and the likelihood of reporting symptoms of current PTSD (OR 1.8, 95 % CI (1.6-2.1)). Although we observed the highest prevalence of current symptoms of PTSD in those migrated for asylum or political reason (13.6 %), compared to the non-migrants, the prevalence of exposure to most traumatic life events was higher in the non-migrant group.

CONCLUSION:

The present study demonstrates the high prevalence of exposure to trauma in a South East London community and the cumulative effect on current symptoms of PTSD. As PTSD is a condition which is associated with disability and co-morbidity, the association of current PTSD with common adversities in the community should be noted.

PMID:
23609374
DOI:
10.1007/s00127-013-0689-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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