Assault and mental disorders: A cross-sectional study of urban adult primary care patients

Karinn Glover, Mark Olfson, Marc J. Gameroff, Yuval Neria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: This study estimated the strength of associations between self-reported assault and psychiatric disorders among low-income, urban primary care patients who were predominantly female. Methods: A sample of adult patients who consecutively presented at an urban primary care practice completed the Life Events Checklist (N=1,157). They were also screened for current major depression, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and substance use disorders with the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders Patient Health Questionnaire; for bipolar disorder with the Mood Disorder Questionnaire; and for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version. A total of 977 of the respondents reported whether they had ever experienced an assault. Logistic regression was used to model associations between self-reported assault and screen status, controlling for relevant sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. Results: Twenty-five percent of study participants endorsed a history of physical or sexual assault. Compared with patients without a history of assault, patients with a history of assault had significantly greater odds of screening positive for PTSD (odds ratio [OR]=1.97, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.19-3.25), alcohol use disorder (OR=2.17, CI=1.07-4.41), and drug use disorder (OR=3.38, CI=1.14-9.98). Conclusion: A history of assault was related to risk of screening positive for PTSD and a substance use disorder. These findings support assessment of trauma history among low-income primary care patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1018-1023
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine(all)


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