Veterans' disclosure of trauma to healthcare providers

Ruth Q. Leibowitz, Matthew D. Jeffreys, Laurel A. Copeland, Polly H. Noël

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of patients' trauma disclosure to health professionals. Method: A convenience sample of 173 veterans in outpatient treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the Veterans Health Administration completed surveys querying trauma history, reasons for trauma disclosure and perceived provider responses. Results: For half of the participants, a healthcare provider was the first person to whom they disclosed. Reasons were primarily external, such as pressure from others. Although 72% were glad to disclose, 45% perceived at least one negative provider response. Conclusion: Patients disclose to a wide range of provider types and perceive varied responses. Providers' awareness of the need to be sensitive to trauma disclosure could facilitate treatment for PTSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-103
Number of pages4
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Disclosure
  • Health communication
  • PTSD
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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