Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 17-31

First online:

Barriers to Assessment and Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Other Trauma-Related Problems in People with Severe Mental Illness: Clinician Perspectives

  • Michelle P. SalyersAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
  • , Lisa J. EvansAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
  • , Gary R. BondAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • , Piper S. MeyerAffiliated withCecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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We conducted a state-wide survey of 251 clinicians serving people with severe mental illness (SMI) in community support programs, to identify barriers to the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD and other trauma-related problems. Most clinicians did not feel competent to effectively treat these problems. Competence/confidence and belief in utility of intervention were positively related to the percentage of clients with whom trauma and PTSD had been discussed, documented in charts, and addressed directly in treatment. Clinicians need training that develops skills and knowledge as well as conveys the value of addressing PTSD and other trauma-related problems in people with SMI.

PTSD trauma barriers training