Editorial| Volume 30, ISSUE 5, P603-605, May 2022

Trauma Should no Longer Remain a Hidden Variable in the Lives of Older Women

Published:November 19, 2021DOI:
      In the methodologically rigorous paper published in this issue, Dr. Sampson and colleagues
      • Sampson L
      • Jha SC
      • Roberts AL
      • et al.
      Trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, and treatment among middle-aged and older women in the nurses’ health study II.
      examine survey data from the Nurses’ Health Study II in over 30,000 current or former female nurses ages 53–74 years old. This is one of the largest, most comprehensive reports of trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom presence and severity, and related treatment in a national sample of middle-aged and older women in the United States. Trauma exposure was common in this group (82.2%) and the prevalence of lifetime (10.5%) and past month PTSD (1.5%) were comparable to those in general population samples of women. One particularly striking finding was that over one-third of women with lifetime PTSD reported never receiving trauma-related mental health treatment, indicating a considerable treatment gap.

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