Journal article

Posttraumatic stress disorder among female street-based sex workers in the greater Sydney area, Australia

Amanda Roxburgh, Louisa Degenhardt, Jan Copeland

BMC Psychiatry | BMC | Published : 2006


BACKGROUND: This paper examines rates of exposure to work-related violence and other trauma, and the prevalence of lifetime and current posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among female street-based sex workers. It also investigates associations between current PTSD symptoms and: demographic characteristics, psychiatric comorbidity, injecting and sex risk behaviours, and trauma history. METHODS: Cross sectional data collected from 72 women via face to face structured interviews. The interview included structured diagnostic assessment of DSM-IV PTSD; drug dependence; depression; experience of childhood trauma; and an assessment of sex working history. RESULTS: All but one of the women intervi..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This study was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. The authors would like to acknowledge Briony Larance and Gabrielle Campbell, both of whom assisted with data collection. We would also like to acknowledge the team at the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP). They generously provided their time as well as insightful input into the development of the questionnaire, and assisted greatly with recruitment of the women that took part in this study. The Kirketon Road Centre (KRC), K2, the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) and the Women and Girls Emergency Centre (WAGEC) also provided invaluable assistance with recruitment of women in the inner city areas. Finally, and most importantly, we are indebted to the 72 women interviewed for this project, who generously gave their time and spoke openly about their involvement in the sex industry.