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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2001 Aug 15;164(4):653-6.

Prediction of psychiatric morbidity in severely injured accident victims at one-year follow-up.

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Psychiatric Department, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.


The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and symptoms of depression and anxiety in severely injured accident victims 1 yr posttrauma and to predict psychiatric morbidity by means of variables assessed shortly after the accident. The sample consisted of 106 consecutive patients with accidental injuries (mean Injury Severity Score = 21.9, mean Glasgow Coma Scale score = 14.4) admitted to the intensive care unit of a University Hospital. Patients with severe head injuries, suicide attempters, and victims of physical assault were excluded. At 1-yr follow-up, two patients (1.9%) had PTSD, and 13 (12.3%) had subsyndromal PTSD. Eighteen patients (17%) had clinically relevant symptoms of anxiety, and nine (8.5%) were depressed. Overall, 27 patients (25.5%) showed some form of psychiatric morbidity (full or subsyndromal PTSD and/or anxiety and/or depression). Logistic regression analysis, using 1-yr psychiatric morbidity status as the dependent variable, allowed correct classification of 83.8% of patients 12 mo postaccident (specificity 91.8%, sensitivity 61.5%). Biographical risk factors and a sense of death threat contributed significantly to the predictive model. We conclude that a substantial proportion of severely injured accident victims develop some form of psychiatric morbidity that can be predicted to some degree by mainly psychosocial variables.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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