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Psychosomatics. 1997 Jul-Aug;38(4):374-85.

Preburn psychiatric history affects posttrauma morbidity.

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Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


A sample of inpatient, burn-injured adults (N = 95) were assessed upon discharge, and 4 and 12 months later with a structured interview and DSM-III-R criteria. The prevalence of disorder in this sample was contrasted with published data on a representative national community-dwelling comparison group in the National Comorbidity Study. The prevalence of lifetime affective, alcohol, and substance use disorders was significantly higher, and lifetime anxiety disorders significantly lower, in the burn-injured sample. The 12-month postburn prevalences of alcohol, and substance use disorders were significantly greater in the burn-injured sample. The risk of postburn disorder was significantly greater for the subjects who had a preburn history of affective, alcohol, or substance use disorder. The risk for developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was elevated in the subjects with a preburn affective disorder but not preburn anxiety disorder. Finally, postburn PTSD was associated with a greater length of stay, and greater preburn comorbidity predicted preburn employment status and tended to lengthen hospitalization.

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