Trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in Spanish public mental health system clients with severe psychiatric conditions: Clinical and demographic correlates.

Objective: Compared with the general population, those with severe psychiatric conditions have a substantially higher likelihood of trauma exposure, increased probability of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more severe consequences if trauma is left untreated. Nevertheless, identification of trauma/PTSD continues to be a neglected mental health system priority. In Spain, few investigations have examined the prevalence of trauma, particularly in persons with severe psychiatric conditions. Method: This study reports findings from a trauma/PTSD screening within a large Madrid public mental health agency serving clients with severe psychiatric conditions. Results: Of the 323 participants, 272 (84.2%) reported at least 1 traumatic event; and 124 (38.4%) met criteria for “probable” PTSD, although none had a medical record diagnosis of PTSD. Those with probable PTSD were predominantly male, were in their mid-40s, had received mental health services for 16 years on average, and endorsed 5.64 types of lifetime traumatic events. The most frequent and distressing traumatic event was the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one. The number of traumatic event types reported was positively correlated with PTSD symptom severity. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Despite lower Spanish general population prevalence of trauma/probable PTSD (compared with the United States and other Western countries), rates within those with co-occurring severe psychiatric conditions are high. These findings reinforce the importance of conducting system-wide screening in public mental health clinics serving persons with severe psychiatric conditions in Spain (and beyond), in order to address this ongoing but neglected issue, and begin to offer much-needed recovery services. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)