Posttraumatic stress disorder among African Americans in an inner city mental health clinic

Psychiatr Serv. 2005 Feb;56(2):212-5. doi: 10.1176/


This study examined 184 African-American outpatients in a mental health clinic in the inner city to define the rate of occurrence of traumatic experience and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This population experienced a high rate of severe trauma. Forty-three percent were found to have PTSD, as measured by the PTSD Symptom Scale. Finally, a chart review of 72 participants found that only 11 percent of participants who met DSM-IV criteria for PTSD also had a chart diagnosis of PTSD. PTSD is a common yet underrecognized and undertreated source of psychiatric morbidity in this urban community of African Americans with low socioeconomic status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Community Mental Health Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / ethnology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urban Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*