Posttraumatic stress disorder in African Americans: A two year follow-up study

Carlos I. Pérez Benítez, Nicholas J. Sibrava, Laura Kohn-Wood, Andri S. Bjornsson, Caron Zlotnick, Risa Weisberg, Martin B. Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The present study was a prospective, naturalistic, longitudinal investigation of the two year course of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a sample of African Americans with anxiety disorders. The study objectives were to examine the two year course of PTSD and to evaluate differences between African Americans with PTSD and anxiety disorders and African Americans with anxiety disorders but no PTSD with regard to comorbidity, psychosocial impairment, physical and emotional functioning, and treatment participation. The participants were 67 African Americans with PTSD and 98 African Americans without PTSD (mean age 41.5 years, 67.3% female). Individuals with PTSD were more likely to have higher comorbidity, lower functioning, and they were less likely to seek treatment than those with other anxiety disorders but no PTSD. The rate of recovery from PTSD over two years was 0.10 and recovery from comorbid Major Depressive Disorder was 0.55. PTSD appears to be persistent over time in this population. The rates of recovery were lower than what has been reported in previous longitudinal studies with predominantly non-Latino Whites. It is imperative to examine barriers to treatment and factors related to treatment engagement for this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-383
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 15 2014


  • African Americans
  • Clinical course
  • Longitudinal study
  • Minority mental health
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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