Emotional Response and Recovery from Injury (ERRI) in Urban Black Men




Andrea B. Laporte Endowed Professor of Nursing

Project Summary

Injury may be an acute event but has chronic consequences that are both physical and mental. Many injured patients experience depression and are subject to PTS symptoms. However, these consequences do not affect all races equally. Black males are more likely to be the victims of serious violent injury (i.e. assault and gunshots) than white men, making injury the third leading contributor to racial disparities in mortality. This disparity is also present in mental consequences as well, where the prevalence of PTSD is up to 40% in disadvantaged minorities compared to 9-12% among the general population. The aim of this study was to conduct a model elucidating the interaction of multiple factors that play a role in injury that best predicts depression and PTS in black men after traumatic injury. Also, an important aim was to get a deeper experience of the black man experience. We used a mixed methodology of qualitative interviews and quantitative measures. For the interviews, we examined their experience at three months after injury and determined what strategies they used to mitigate psychological effects and what approaches influenced their willingness to seek care. Measurements were examined through the interplay between risk factors, protective factors and peri-traumatic experience with depression/PTS. I went along with a partner to subjects’ homes to conduct recorded interviews in places where they felt most comfortable. At work, I transcribed interviews and coded them (using NVIVO 11 Qualitative Data Analysis) to look for themes and patterns. To gain a deeper understanding of underlying risk factors, I wrote literature reviews on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) that include domestic violence, sexual assault, physical abuse, and so on. I am personally interested in pursuing a career in Public Health to prevent diseases among the public population, and this project gave me a richer understanding of which people are more at risk and what factors contribute to that. It also gave me the invaluable experience of learning about the lives of black men in my community who have suffered pain in multiple ways. Research is often reduced to quantitative details but behind each number is a person along with their experience, and that is an imperative lesson I learned this summer.