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Br J Psychiatry. 2005 Jul;187:76-82.

Effectiveness of providing self-help information following acute traumatic injury: randomised controlled trial.

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  • 1Clinical Psychology Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK.



Patients attending an accident and emergency department may exhibit psychological disturbances post-injury. Early interventions have been suggested to reduce the risk of post-injury disorder, including psychoeducation.


We assessed the efficacy of providing such self-help information.


Patients who had experienced trauma were randomised to two groups: those given (n=75) and not given (n=67) a self-help booklet. Psychological assessments were completed within 2, 10-12 and 24-26 weeks.


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression decreased (P < 0.05) with time but there were no group differences in PTSD or anxiety. The controls were less depressed (P < 50.05) at follow-up. There was a reduction in PTSD caseness within the control (50%) compared with the intervention (20%) group which was almost significant (P < 0.06).


This trial failed to support the efficacy of providing self-help information as a preventive strategy to ameliorate PTSD.

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