SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

African Americans in low-income, urban communities are at high risk for exposure to traumatic events as well as for symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Approximately 22% of 220 participants recruited from urban hospital medical clinics met survey criteria for PTSD. Among the common traumas were having relatives/friends murdered (47%), being attacked with weapons (64% of men), and being sexually attacked (36% of women). Although desiring mental health services, only 13.3% of those with PTSD had prior trauma-focused treatment. Barriers to treatment included limited transportation and finances, family disapproval, and unfamiliarity with accessing treatment, among others. These data highlight the need for an awareness of the high prevalence of trauma and PTSD in this population.