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J Trauma. 2010 Dec;69(6):1560-6. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3181e59c05.

Prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder and major depression after trauma center hospitalization.

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RAND Corporation, Arlington, Virginia 22202, USA.



Individuals hospitalized after physical trauma are at heightened risk for mental disorders. We examined prevalence rates of both posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression at 6 and 12 months in a sample of 677 individuals experiencing different types of trauma who were representative of physical trauma survivors hospitalized in Los Angeles County trauma centers. Demographic and injury-related risk factors for these disorders were also evaluated.


Bivariate logistic regressions estimated risk for PTSD and depression at either 6 or 12 months associated with baseline risk factors.


At 6 months, 31% of participants met screening criteria for probable PTSD and 31% met criteria for probable depression. At 12 months, 28% and 29% met criteria for PTSD and depression, respectively. There were also high rates of comorbidity; depression and PTSD co-occurred in 21% of individuals at 6 months and in 19% of patients at 12 months. Bivariate logistic regressions indicated that preexisting disability and lower education were associated with higher odds of PTSD at either 6 or 12 months. African Americans and Hispanics had higher odds of PTSD compared with non-Hispanic Caucasians. Assault-related injury (versus accident), more severe injury, and longer hospitalizations were also associated with greater odds of PTSD. By contrast, higher odds of depression at 6 or 12 months were only associated with preexisting disability, losing consciousness, more severe injury, and longer hospitalizations.


Key demographic and injury characteristics may enhance identification of at-risk trauma survivors who would benefit from targeted screening, patient education, and early intervention efforts.

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