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Depress Anxiety. 2013 Apr;30(4):321-7. doi: 10.1002/da.22077. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Risk factors for post-injury mental health problems.

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  • 1Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology and Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


Serious nonfatal physical injuries and burns are common occurrences that can have substantial implications for personal, social, and occupational functioning. Such injuries are frequently associated with significant mental health issues, and compromised quality of life and well-being. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current literature on physical, psychological, and social risk factors for mental health issues post-injury and to contextualize findings using Engel's biopsychosocial framework. We distinguish between pre-injury, injury-related, and post-injury risk factors for mental health problems. Female sex, history of mental health problems or trauma, type of injury, and level of pain are among the strong risk factors for mental health problems post-injury. We highlight inconsistent findings in the literature, identify directions for future research, and explore the implications of the risk factors identified for treatment and prevention.

© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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