Document Detail

Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder among homeless adults in Sydney.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18247195     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: International studies indicate high prevalence rates of post-traumatic stress disorder within homeless populations. In Australia, studies indicate high rates of trauma among homeless adults, yet post-traumatic stress disorder has not been investigated in homeless Australian adults. The primary aim of this project was to determine the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among homeless adults in Sydney. Further, another aim of the study was to determine whether the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder preceded the first episode of homelessness or was a consequence of homelessness. METHOD: The sample consisted of 70 homeless men and women aged 18-73 years, who were randomly sampled through eight homeless services. A computer-assisted face-to-face structured clinical interview was conducted with each participant. Lifetime prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder was determined via the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. RESULTS: The majority of the sample had experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetime (98%). Indeed, the mean number of traumas per person was six. The 12 month prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder was higher among homeless adults in Sydney in comparison to the Australian general population (41% vs 1.5%). But 79% of the sample had a lifetime prevalence of post-traumatic stress. In 59% of cases, the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder preceded the age of the first reported homeless episode. CONCLUSIONS: Homeless adults in Sydney frequently experience trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder. The study found that trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder more often precede homelessness, but re-victimization is common. These findings highlight the high mental health needs among homeless people and have implications for services for homeless people.
Kathryn M Taylor; Louise Sharpe
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry     Volume:  42     ISSN:  0004-8674     ISO Abbreviation:  Aust N Z J Psychiatry     Publication Date:  2008 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-02-05     Completed Date:  2008-06-11     Revised Date:  2009-11-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0111052     Medline TA:  Aust N Z J Psychiatry     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  206-13     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Australia / epidemiology
Catchment Area (Health)
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Homeless Persons / psychology*,  statistics & numerical data*
Life Change Events*
Middle Aged
Severity of Illness Index
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis,  epidemiology*,  psychology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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