Post-traumatic stress disorder: an epidemiological study in the Rocklands community
Blignaut, Susarah C. W.
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The objective of this article was to present an overview of the existing literature concerning Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This article focuses on the history, pathogenesis, etiological theories regarding specific symptoms and a review of previous community-based epidemiological studies of PTSD. Uterature suggested that the pathogenesis of PTSD is multifactorial. Within the biopsychosocial model, certain predisposing, modulating, precipitating and reinforcing factors can be identified. Biological, psychoanalytical and cognitive theories explain certain symptoms of PTSD. Four community-based epidemiological studies of PTSD could be found. No epidemiological data are available on the prevalence of PTSD in non-caucasian communities. It was concluded that further research is necessary to refine diagnostic criteria of PTSD. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the Rocklands community, a low socio-economic black community near Bloemfontein. The grid method was used to draw a random sample (n=100). A structured interview schedule, based on DSM IV criteria for PTSD, was administered. Results indicate a 5% point prevalence of PTSD in the Rocklands community. Correlations between demographic variables and certain aspects of PTSD were calculated. The association studies showed that more male respondents and respondents with an educational level below standard six, experienced traumatic stressors. The conclusion was made that PTSD is a relevant diagnosis in the Rocklands community. It is recommended that this type of research should be conducted and the results used to promote primary health care in the community.