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Unfallchirurg. 1998 Dec;101(12):878-93.

[Post-traumatic stress disorder after traffic accidents].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Unfallchirurgie, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena.


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after motor vehicle accidents (MVAs). It is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive reliving of the accident, avoidance of reminders of the trauma and increased arousal. Diagnostic criteria as specified in DSM-IV and in ICD-10 are discussed. A case example illustrates the features of PTSD incurred by MVA. An overview concerning the history of empirical studies on the consequences of MVAs is given. PTSD is one of the more common psychiatric disorders, with prevalence rates after MVAs ranging from 1% to nearly 9%. Other psychiatric and comorbid disorders that can occur as a consequence of MVAs are described. The present paper reviews the most influential etiological theories for PTSD. It describes and discusses current knowledge on risk factors for the development of PTSD after surviving an MVA. In the treatment of PTSD cognitive-behavioural approaches have proven to be the most effective interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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