National study finds post-traumatic stress disorder common among injured patients

Sep 11, 2008

Suffering a traumatic injury can have serious and long-lasting implications for a patient's mental health, according to the largest-ever U.S. study 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

Explore further: Sierra Leone streets deserted as shutdown begins

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Wearable robots getting lighter, more portable

May 09, 2013

When Michael Gore stands, it's a triumph of science and engineering. Eleven years ago, Gore was paralyzed from the waist down in a workplace accident, yet he rises from his wheelchair and walks across the ...

Report: More than 100 million suffer lasting pain

Jun 29, 2011

(AP) -- At least 116 million U.S. adults experience long-lasting pain - the kind that lingers for weeks to months - and too often feel stigma rather than relief from a health care system poorly prepared to treat them, the ...

Recommended for you

Sierra Leone streets deserted as shutdown begins

4 hours ago

Sierra Leone's normally chaotic capital resembled a ghost town on Friday as residents were confined to their homes for the start of a three-day lockdown aimed at halting the deadly Ebola epidemic.

Sierra Leone launches controversial Ebola shutdown

6 hours ago

Sierra Leone on Friday launched a controversial three-day shutdown to contain the deadly spread of the Ebola virus, as the UN Security Council declared the deadly outbreak a threat to world peace.

Cooling of dialysis fluids protects against brain damage

18 hours ago

While dialysis can cause blood pressure changes that damage the brain, cooling dialysis fluids can protect against such effects. The findings come from a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American So ...

Two Ebola vaccines to be tested in Switzerland

19 hours ago

Clinical trials of two experimental vaccines against the deadly Ebola virus are due to begin soon in Switzerland, the country's Tropical and Public Health Institute said on Thursday.

User comments : 0