Service use and self-reported symptoms among persons with positive PTSD screens and serious mental illness

Shula K. Minsky, Weili Lu, Steven M. Silverstein, Michael Gara, Jennifer D. Gottlieb, Kim T. Mueser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: Although many studies have reported higher rates of trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among persons with severe mental illness, the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD in public mental health centers remain at a suboptimal level and PTSD is often overlooked and untreated. This study used routine PTSD screening and service use data in electronic medical records to determine the association of PTSD, psychiatric symptoms, and service use in a sample of individuals with serious mental illness in a community-based treatment setting. Methods: The sample included 1,834 active clients between January 2007 and November 2010 who were screened for PTSD and who completed the 24-item Behavior and Symptom Identification Scale (BASIS-24). Service data included services provided a year before and a year after the screening date. Results: PTSD was associated with more severe psychiatric symptoms and increased no-showrates but notwith increased service use or use of high-intensity services. PTSD likelihood interacted with race in accounting for elevated scores among African Americans on the psychosis domain of the BASIS-24. Conclusions: PTSD screening is feasible and recommended in service environments and may contribute significantly to better understanding of racial-ethnic and other differences in service use and diagnostic practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-850
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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