Posttraumatic stress, depression, and sleep among young survivors of violence

Theodore Corbin, Loni Philip Tabb, Daria Waite, Jonathan Purtle, Erica Harris, James Gardner, Nina Gentile, Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, John Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Survivors of violence often suffer psychological harm in addition to physical wounds. This study explored (1) the prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, depression symptoms, and disordered sleep among young, violently injured, emergency department patients; and (2) how PTSD and depression symptoms are associated with sleep quality. Clinical scales for PTSD (PCL-5), depression (PHQ-8), and sleep (PROMIS®) were completed by 88 survivors of violent assault (gunshot, stabbing or assault) one month or less after presenting to an urban emergency department. High proportions of participants met criteria for prospective PTSD (59.1%), major depression (44.3%) or disordered sleep (34.1%), with 27.3% meeting criteria for all three conditions. Poorer sleep quality was correlated with higher levels of depression symptoms and PTSD symptoms. Survivors of violence experience symptoms that may further impair their sleep and behavioral health. Emergency providers should ask survivors about sleep/trauma symptoms and consider referral to trauma-informed behavioral health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1339-1358
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Behavioral health
  • Depression
  • Injury
  • Mental health
  • Sleep quality
  • Trauma
  • Traumatic stress
  • Urban health
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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