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OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the prevalence of posttraumatic stress among survivors of serious injury-producing car crashes. METHODS: This population-based prospective cohort study, conducted in New Zealand, recruited hospitalized car occupants (passengers and drivers) as well as nonhospitalized drivers after a crash in which at least one occupant was hospitalized. Fifty-nine hospitalized passengers (62%) and 209 drivers (72%) completed five- and 18-month interviews. The Impact of Event Scale assessed symptoms of posttraumatic stress. RESULTS: At five months 28% of hospitalized passengers, 24% of hospitalized drivers, and 24% of nonhospitalized drivers reported symptoms consistent with posttraumatic stress disorder. At 18 months, 23% of hospitalized passengers, 11% of hospitalized drivers, and 7% of nonhospitalized drivers reported significant levels of stress. CONCLUSIONS: Strategies to prevent disabling sequelae of crashes must address the needs of hospitalized and nonhospitalized survivors.

Original publication

DOI

10.1176/appi.ps.60.3.402

Type

Journal article

Journal

Psychiatr Serv

Publication Date

2009

Volume

60

Pages

402 - 404

Keywords

Accidents, Traffic/*psychology/statistics & numerical data Adolescent Adult Cohort Studies Female Hospitalization/*statistics & numerical data Humans Male Middle Aged New Zealand/epidemiology Prevalence Prospective Studies Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/*epidemiology/*psychology Survivors/*psychology/statistics & numerical data Young Adult