Trauma Series - Part 4 of 7
Research on trauma plays a vital role in unraveling the complex interplay between traumatic experiences and mental health outcomes, shedding light on effective prevention strategies, evidence-based treatments, and policy initiatives aimed at supporting and empowering survivors of trauma. The following studies have had profound effects on the lanscape and scope of trauma treatment and should be accounted for within any historical perspective of trauma as a whole.
NVVRS - 1988
The National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS) is a comprehensive examination of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psychological difficulties among Vietnam veterans. The study provides valuable insights into the challenges faced by these veterans as they transitioned to civilian life. Key findings from the study include the higher prevalence of PTSD among Vietnam theater veterans compared to their era counterparts and civilians, with rates of 15.2% for males and 8.5% for females. Additionally, the study highlights the lasting nature of PTSD, with one-third of male theater veterans and over one-fourth of female theater veterans having experienced the disorder at some point in their lives. The research underscores the link between PTSD and other readjustment difficulties and emphasizes the impact on veterans' families. The study emphasizes the need for ongoing support and care for Vietnam veterans affected by these psychological issues.
HTQ – 1992
The Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ) is a checklist that was developed by the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) to assess trauma events and associated emotional symptoms. It consists of six versions tailored to different populations, including Southeast Asian refugees, survivors of the Kobe earthquake, Croatian veterans, and Bosnian civilians. The questionnaire covers a range of traumatic experiences and includes sections on traumatic events, subjective descriptions of the most traumatic events, head injuries, and trauma symptoms. While earlier versions offered multiple response options, later versions simplified the responses to "Yes" or "No" for each question. The HTQ includes items derived from the DSM-IV criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and additional culture-specific questions. It is important to note that the HTQ is intended for administration by healthcare professionals and should not be used as a self-report tool. The involvement of mental health professionals is crucial in the proper use and interpretation of screening instruments.
NCS – 1995
The National Comorbidity Survey (NCS) is a series of surveys conducted in the United States to assess the prevalence and comorbidity of mental disorders among adults, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study aims to understand the prevalence, risk factors, and patterns of comorbidity associated with PTSD, as well as its impact on functioning and quality of life. The NCS findings contribute to our understanding of PTSD's epidemiology and public health impact, informing interventions and support systems for affected individuals. The study highlights that PTSD is a prevalent and persistent disorder influenced by factors such as gender and marital status, and future research should consider assessing PTSD for all lifetime traumas to gain a comprehensive understanding.
ACE Study – 1998
The ACEs study is a groundbreaking research effort that examines the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on long-term health and well-being. It demonstrates a strong association between childhood trauma and the development of various physical, mental, and social health problems later in life. The study highlights the cumulative nature of ACEs and their profound influence on individuals' overall health outcomes. The findings underscore the importance of early intervention and prevention strategies to mitigate the long-term consequences of childhood adversity.
NISVS – 2011
The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) conducted in 2011 is a comprehensive study that examines the prevalence, impact, and consequences of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking in the United States. The survey provides valuable insights into the scope and nature of these forms of violence, highlighting their high prevalence and the significant physical and mental health consequences experienced by survivors. The NISVS data contribute to the understanding of these public health issues, informing policies, prevention efforts, and support services for victims of intimate partner and sexual violence.
ACE-I Study – 2014
The ACE-I (Adverse Childhood Experiences International) study conducted in 2014 is a significant research endeavor that investigates the prevalence and impact of adverse childhood experiences on health and well-being across different countries. This study examines a range of adverse experiences such as abuse, neglect, household dysfunction, and other traumatic events, shedding light on their long-term effects on physical and mental health outcomes. The findings from the ACE-I study emphasize the critical importance of early intervention and prevention strategies to mitigate the negative consequences of childhood adversity and promote healthier outcomes for individuals and communities worldwide.
WMHS – 2017
The data from the World Mental Health (WMH) survey provides a comprehensive understanding of social anxiety disorder (SAD) on a global scale. The study addresses the question of whether SAD is specific to Western cultures and reveals variations in prevalence and role impairment across different regions. The survey shows that SAD is a prevalent condition worldwide, typically emerging at an early age and persisting over time. It is associated with certain socio-demographic factors (such as younger age, female gender, unmarried status, lower education, and lower household income) and exhibits consistent comorbidity patterns with other mental health disorders. These findings underscore the clinical and public health significance of SAD on an international level.
1. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). (1998). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Accessibility. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/aces/index.html
2. Bellis, M. A., Hughes, K., Leckenby, N., Perkins, C., & Lowey, H. (2014). National household survey of adverse childhood experiences and their relationship with resilience to health-harming behaviors in England. BMC Medicine, 1. https://doi.org/10.1186/1741-7015-12-72
3. Harvard Trauma Questionnaire. (1992). Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma; Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma. https://hprt-cambridge.org/screening/harvard-trauma-questionnaire
4. Kessler, R. C., & Walters, E. (1995). Textbook in Psychiatric Epidemiology (M. T. Tsuang & M. Tohen, Eds.; pp. 343–362). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/0471234311
5. Kulka, R. A., Schlenger, W. E., Fairbank, J. A., Hough, R. L., Jordan, B. K., Marmar, C. R., & Weiss, D. S. (1988). National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS): Description, current status, and initial PTSD prevalence estimates. Washington, DC: Veterans Administration.
6. Stein, D. J., Lim, C. C. W., Roest, A. M., de Jonge, P., Aguilar-Gaxiola, S., Al-Hamzawi, A., Alonso, J., Benjet, C., Bromet, E. J., Bruffaerts, R., de Girolamo, G., Florescu, S., Gureje, O., Haro, J. M., Harris, M. G., He, Y., Hinkov, H., Horiguchi, I., Hu, C., … Scott, K. M. (2017). The cross-national epidemiology of social anxiety disorder: Data from the World Mental Health Survey Initiative. BMC Medicine, 1. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-017-0889-2
7. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) |Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC. (2011). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/datasources/nisvs/index.html