Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp 1069–1073 | Cite as

The Frequency of PTSD and Subthreshold PTSD among African–American Women with Depressive Symptoms in a Disadvantaged Urban Neighborhood: Pilot Study

  • Sunghyun HongEmail author
  • Inger Burnett-Zeigler


Racial/ethnic minority women in a disadvantaged urban neighborhood may experience a high rate of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. This brief report examined the frequency of a PTSD diagnosis and subthreshold PTSD among 72 female participants with depressive symptoms in a mindfulness-based intervention for depression at an urban federally qualified health center (FQHC). The MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview was used to assess PTSD diagnosis or subthreshold PTSD, and the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology–Self-Report (IDS-SR) was used to assess depressive symptoms. We conducted a descriptive analysis of trauma experiences and explored the neighborhood context of the participants. Fifty-one percent of women self-reported that they experienced a traumatic event. Twenty-nine percent of women met PTSD diagnosis and 7% had subthreshold PTSD; women with a PTSD diagnosis or subthreshold PTSD had significantly worse depressive symptoms. Commonly reported traumas included witnessing a murder, experiencing abuse, and domestic violence. This brief report highlights the high frequency of PTSD diagnosis and subthreshold PTSD among underserved women with depressive symptoms. This may be associated with trauma events linked to residing in a disadvantaged neighborhood.


PTSD Depression Underserved Disadvantaged urban neighborhood African–American women 



The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of the patients and staff at the Near North Health Centers and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality K12 for funding that supported this work (AHRQ K12HS023011).

Compliance with Ethical Standards


This study was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality under K12.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA

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