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Psychol Med. 1991 Feb;21(1):85-91.

Predictors of post-traumatic stress disorder following physical trauma: an examination of the stressor criterion.

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  • 1Institute of Neurology, London.


A prospective study documenting psychopathology was undertaken in 48 subjects exposed to a range of physical trauma, but whose injuries were of similar severity. No support was found for the DSM-III-R view correlating the severity of the stressor with the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Distress post injury (high scores on the impact of event scale), indicative of difficulty with cognitive assimilation of the traumatic event, was found to be highly predictive of psychiatric morbidity and PTSD at 6 months.

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