September 11, 2008

PTSD Common Among Injured Patients

Suffering a traumatic injury can have serious and long-lasting implications for a patient's mental health, U.S. researchers said.

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

The study, published in the Annals of Surgery, 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 tracked 2,707 injured patients from 69 hospitals across the country and found 20.7 percent had PTSD and 6.6 percent 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.