Open Access Open Badges Study protocol

Violence and post-traumatic stress disorder in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: the protocol for an epidemiological and genetic survey

Sérgio Baxter Andreoli1, Wagner Silva Ribeiro1, Maria Ines Quintana1, Camila Guindalini1, Gerome Breen2, Sergio Luis Blay1, Evandro SF Coutinho3, Trudy Harpham45, Miguel Roberto Jorge1, Diogo Rizzato Lara6, Tais S Moriyama1, Lucas C Quarantini1, Ary Gadelha1, Liliane Maria Pereira Vilete3, Mary SL Yeh1, Martin Prince7, Ivan Figueira8, Rodrigo A Bressan1, Marcelo F Mello1, Michael E Dewey7, Cleusa P Ferri7 and Jair de Jesus Mari17*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

2 MRC Social, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, UK

3 Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública (ENSP – FIOCRUZ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

4 London South Bank University, London, UK

5 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

6 Faculdade de Biociências da PUCRS, Porto Alegre, Brazil

7 Centre for Public Mental Health, Health Services and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, University of London, London, UK

8 Institute of Psychiatry, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (IPUB – UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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BMC Psychiatry 2009, 9:34  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-9-34

Published: 7 June 2009



violence is a public health major concern, and it is associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychiatric outcomes. Brazil is one of the most violent countries in the world, and has an extreme social inequality. Research on the association between violence and mental health may support public health policy and thus reduce the burden of disease attributable to violence. The main objectives of this project were: to study the association between violence and mental disorders in the Brazilian population; to estimate the prevalence rates of exposure to violence, post-traumatic stress disorder, common metal disorder, and alcohol hazardous use and dependence: and to identify contextual and individual factors, including genetic factors, associated with the outcomes.


one phase cross-sectional survey carried out in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A multistage probability to size sampling scheme was performed in order to select the participants (3000 and 1500 respectively). The cities were stratified according to homicide rates, and in Sao Paulo the three most violent strata were oversampled. The measurements included exposure to traumatic events, psychiatric diagnoses (CIDI 2.1), contextual (homicide rates and social indicators), and individual factors, such as demographics, social capital, resilience, help seeking behaviours. The interviews were carried between June/2007 February/2008, by a team of lay interviewers. The statistical analyses will be weight-adjusted in order to take account of the design effects. Standardization will be used in order to compare the results between the two centres. Whole genome association analysis will be performed on the 1 million SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) arrays, and additional association analysis will be performed on additional phenotypes. The Ethical Committee of the Federal University of Sao Paulo approved the study, and participants who matched diagnostic criteria have been offered a referral to outpatient clinics at the Federal University of Sao Paulo and Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.