Physical health burdens of women with trauma histories and co-occurring substance abuse and mental disorders
- Cite this article as:
- Larson, M.J., Miller, L., Becker, M. et al. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research (2005) 32: 128. doi:10.1007/BF02287262
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This article documents the physical health burdens of participants in a large, federally funded cross-site study of specialized services for women with histories of trauma (physical or sexual abuse) and co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders. Nearly half of the 2729 women in the study (48%) reported serious physical illnesses that frequently limited their daily life activities or required them to use special equipment. Nearly half (46%) rated their health status as only fair or poor. Given the prevalence of physical illnesses in this population, behavioral service providers should discuss with clients their overall health and how it might hinder their participation in treatment for trauma, substance abuse, and mental illness, and policymakers should consider this need when designing behavioral health requirements, setting reimbursement rates, and allocating funds.