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Serious Injury Can Lead to PTSD

womanInvestigators have discovered that suffering a traumatic injury can have serious and long-lasting implications for a patient’s mental health.

The study is the largest-ever U.S. effort for evaluating the impact of traumatic injury.

Researchers from the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, the University of Washington, and the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that post-traumatic stress disorder and depression were very common among patients assessed one year after suffering a serious injury.

They also found that injured patients diagnosed with PTSD or depression were six times more likely to not have returned to work in the year following the injury.

The study followed 2707 injured patients from 69 hospitals across the country, and found 20.7% had post-traumatic stress disorder and 6.6% had depression one year after the injury.

Both disorders were independently associated with significant impairments across all functional outcomes: activities of daily living, health status, and the return to usual activities, including work. Patients who had one disorder were three times less likely to be working one year after injury, and patients with both disorders were five to six times less likely to have returned to work.

The findings have important implications for U.S. acute care hospitals. Smaller scale investigations in acute care medical settings suggest that evidence-based psychotherapy and collaborative care interventions can reduce the symptoms of PTSD and related conditions among injured trauma survivors.

“This study highlights the importance of ongoing studies of PTSD and depression screening, and intervention procedures for injured patients treated in acute care hospitals nationwide,” said Douglas Zatzick, M.D., principal investigator and a psychiatrist at the University of Washington.

“If studies of PTSD and depression establish the effectiveness of screening and intervention procedures, American College of Surgeons policy requirements similar to the recent mandate for alcohol screening and brief intervention could be considered.”

The American College of Surgeons now requires that level I trauma centers must have on-site alcohol screening and brief intervention services as a requisite for trauma center accreditation.

Source: University of Washington – Harborview Medical Center

Serious Injury Can Lead to PTSD

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Serious Injury Can Lead to PTSD. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 12, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/09/11/serious-injury-can-lead-to-ptsd/2919.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.