Golin CE, Haley DF, Wang J, Hughes JP, Kuo I, Justman J, Adimora AA, Soto-Torres L, O'Leary A, Hodder S. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Mental Health over Time among Low-Income Women at Increased Risk of HIV in the U.S.. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2016, 27: 891-910. PMC4970215
Women living in poverty suffer more post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms than do members of the general population; however we know little about factors associated with changes in their PTSD symptoms over time. Using data from HPTN 064, a cohort of women from low-income, high-HIV-prevalence communities across six eastern states (n=1,860), we assessed the prevalence of and changes in PTSD symptoms over 12 months and the effect of potential predictors on symptom acquisition and remission (via the Primary Care-PTSD symptoms scale). Forty-three percent screened positive for PTSD symptoms. Those reporting food insecurity, ongoing abuse, depressive symptoms, or binge drinking were more likely to acquire PTSD symptoms. Those with ongoing abuse or depressive symptoms were less likely to experience PTSD symptom remission. Findings suggest a need to integrate programs to reduce abuse, depression, and economic hardship with those that address sexual health risks among women living in low-income, high-HIV-prevalence neighborhoods.