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Behav Res Ther. 1996 Jan;34(1):1-10.

Who develops PTSD from motor vehicle accidents?

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Center for Stress and Anxiety Disorders, University at Albany-SUNY 12203, USA.


Within 1 to 4 months of their motor vehicle accident (MVA), we assessed 158 MVA victims who sought medical attention as a result of the MVA. Using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS: Blake, Weathers, Nagy, Kaloupek, Klauminzer, Charney & Keane, 1990. National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Boston, MA)., we found that 62 (39%) met DSM-III-R (American Psychiatric Association, 1987. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press) criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Using variables from the victim's account of the accident and its sequelae, pre-MVA psychosocial functioning, demographic variables, pre-MVA psychopathology and degree of physical injury, we found that 70% of the subjects could be classified as PTSD or not with 4 variables: prior major depression, fear of dying in the MVA, extent of physical injury and whether litigation had been initiated. Using multiple regression to predict the continuous variable of total CAPS score, as a measure of post-traumatic stress symptoms, we found that 8 variables combined to predict 38.1% of variance (Multiple R = 0.617).

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