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


DOI: 10.1007/s40615-016-0311-3

Cite this article as:
Hong, S. & Burnett-Zeigler, I. J. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (2016). doi:10.1007/s40615-016-0311-3


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 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • K12

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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