Psychiatric Briefs

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Objective: The long-term psychiatric consequences, pain interference in daily activities, work loss, and functional impairment associated with 9/11–related loss among low-income, minority primary care patients in New York City were investigated by this study.

Method: A sociodemographic questionnaire, the PTSD Checklist, the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders Patient Health Questionnaire, and the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-12 Health Survey comprised a survey that was completed by a systematic sample of 929 adult patients.

Results: Approximately one quarter of the sample (a sample sociodemographically undistinguished from the rest of the cohort) reported knowing someone who was killed in the attacks of 9/11. Patients who experienced loss were roughly twice as likely (odds ratio = 1.97, 95% CI = 1.40 to 2.77) to screen positive for at least 1 mental disorder, including major depressive disorder (29.2%), generalized anxiety disorder (19.4%), and posttraumatic stress disorder (17.1%) compared to those who had not experienced 9/11–related loss. September 11–related loss was significantly related to extreme pain interference, work loss, and functional impairment after pre–9/11 trauma had been controlled for.

Conclusions: Disaster-related mental health care in this clinical population should concentrate on evidence-based treatments for mood and anxiety disorders on the basis of these findings.

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2009;11(3):131