Exploring the Female Specific Risk to Partial and Full PTSD Following Physical Assault


  • This study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). R.A. is funded by a NHMRC Career Development Award Level 2 in Population Health (APP1012485). We acknowledge the help of the Australian Health Management (AHM) in the review and preparation of this manuscript. The MUSP team, MUSP participants, the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, and the Schools of Social Science, Population Health and Medicine (University of Queensland).

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kim Betts, c/o Rosa Alati, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, 4th Floor, Public Health Building, Herston Rd, Herston QLD 4006, Australia. E-mail: kim.betts@uqconnect.edu.au


Previous studies have shown that females are at an increased risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in response to physical assault compared with males. Our aims were to (a) test if this gender-specific risk generalised to subclinical levels of PTSD, (b) observe how this relationship was affected by including possible confounding factors, and (c) estimate how this trauma contributed to the overall prevalence of PTSD in females. Data came from an Australian birth cohort study (n = 2,547) based in Brisbane, Australia that commenced in 1981. Using ordinal logistic regression adjusted for a wide range of confounding factors, including polyvictimisation and internalising and externalising symptoms, we found females were at a significantly greater risk compared to males of developing either partial or full PTSD, odds ratio (OR) = 7.68; 95% confidence interval (CI) = [2.94, 20.08], as well as full PTSD only, OR = 9.23; 95% CI = [2.77, 30.79], following the experience of assaultive violence (p value for test of interaction = .004). In addition to the high prevalence of sexual assault (12.9%), attributable risk analysis suggested that due to the strong risk of PTSD in females exposed to physical assault, physical assault is possibly a contributor to the overall female increased prevalence of PTSD.

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撮要:前人研究指出女性在身體受襲後患上PTSD的風險比男性高。本研究會:a.測試上述性別風險差異推及至亞臨床PTSD情況,b.觀察上述關係在考慮可能干擾因素後的變化,及c.估計此等創傷在女性PTSD 的普遍病發率有何影響。我們在一個從1981年開始在澳洲布里斯班進行的出生隊列研究(n=2,547)中抽取數據,利用序數邏輯回歸來調整一系列干擾因素(包括多重受害,內在化和外在化症狀),女性在暴力襲擊後(相互作用測試之p-值)對比男性有統計上顯着更高風險患上不完全或完全PTSD (OR=7.68;95%CI〔2.94,20.08〕),及只患上完全PTSD (OR=9.23;95% CI〔2.77,30.79〕)。除了性侵犯的高比率(12.9%),屬性風險分析展示女性經歷身體受襲後患上PTSD有着高風險,而身體受襲則因此可能導致女性擁有較高PTSD的普通患病率。


撮要:前人研究指出女性在身体受袭后患上PTSD的风险比男性高。本研究会:a.测试上述性别风险差异推及至亚临床PTSD情况,b.观察上述关系在考虑可能干扰因素后的变化,及c.估计此等创伤在女性PTSD 的普遍病发率有何影响。我们在一个从1981年开始在澳洲布里斯班进行的出生队列研究(n=2,547)中抽取数据,利用序数逻辑回归来调整一系列干扰因素(包括多重受害,内在化和外在化症状),女性在暴力袭击后(相互作用测试之p-值)对比男性有统计上显着更高风险患上不完全或完全PTSD (OR=7.68;95%CI〔2.94,20.08〕),及只患上完全PTSD (OR=9.23;95% CI〔2.77,30.79〕)。除了性侵犯的高比率(12.9%),属性风险分析展示女性经历身体受袭后患上PTSD有着高风险,而身体受袭则因此可能导致女性拥有较高PTSD的普通患病率。