There are a number of reasons why health care providers should assess patients for a history of trauma exposure. Some of the most important reasons are:
Trauma and trauma-related problems are common. About 60% of men and 50% of women experience at least one trauma such as a disaster, war, or a life-threatening assault or accident at some point in their lives (1). Nearly 8% of the population has PTSD in their lifetimes, and PTSD is highly comorbid with other disorders such as panic, phobic, or generalized anxiety disorders; depression; or substance abuse.
PTSD affects health. Reviews of the literature on trauma and health emphasize the role of PTSD as a mediator between trauma exposure and health effects (2-3). Such health effects include a variety of medical disorders as well as significant behavioral health risks. To learn more, see PTSD and Physical Health.
Trauma exposure affects utilization of services. The literature reviews also cite findings of high medical utilization rates for survivors of different types of trauma (2-3).
PTSD is underrecognized by practitioners. Research shows that many patients who seek physical healthcare have been exposed to trauma and have post-traumatic stress symptoms but have not received appropriate mental health care (4). As with other anxiety disorders and depression, most patients with PTSD are not properly identified and are not offered education, counseling, or referrals for mental health evaluation. Keep in mind that avoidance of trauma reminders is a prominent symptom of PTSD. This makes it even more likely that patients will not spontaneously report their trauma experiences or related symptoms.
This comprehensive compilation contains 20 chapters discussing the following topics:
1. Group Therapy for PTSD – with self paced slides and audio narration
2. Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions – with self paced slides and audio narration
3. PTSD and the Difficult Client – with self paced slides and audio narration
4. PTSD and Substance Abuse – with self paced slides and audio narration
5. PTSD and Sexual Assault – with self paced slides and audio narration
6. Physical Health Effects of Traumatic Exposure – with self paced slides and audio narration
7. PTSD and Hispanic Veterans – with self paced slides and audio narration
8. PTSD and African American Veterans – with self paced slides and audio narration
9. PTSD History And Overview
10. DSM Criteria For PTSD
11. Epidemiology of PTSD
12. Overview of Psychotherapy for PTSD
13. Clinician’s Guide to Medications for PTSD
14. FAQs About PTSD Assessment: For Professionals
15. PTSD Screening and Referral: For Health Care Providers
16. Working with Trauma Survivors: What Workers Need to Know
17. The Returning Veteran of the Iraq War: Background Issues and Assessment
18. Military Sexual Trauma: Issues in Caring for Veterans
19. Forensic Validity of a PTSD Diagnosis
20. Media Coverage of Traumatic Events: Research on Effects