Nav: Home

Moderate-to-high posttraumatic stress common after exposure to trauma, violence

March 06, 2020

Over 30 percent of injury survivors who are treated in hospital emergency departments will have moderate-to-severe symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in the first year following the initial incident, new research led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

Assistant Professor Sarah Lowe, Ph.D., and colleagues pooled data from more than 3,000 people who were treated in emergency rooms in six countries: Australia, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States.

The study, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, examined PTSD symptoms over time and found that 64.5 percent of participants were resilient, exhibiting consistently low symptoms. The remaining 35.6 percent, however, fell into one of four other patterns, including initially high PTSD symptoms that decreased over time (16.9 percent), moderate symptoms (6.7 percent), delayed symptoms (5.5 percent) and chronically high symptoms (6.5 percent).

Factors associated with high PTSD symptoms were also identified in the study. Injuries that were due to physical assault, versus other causes, were shown to be especially predictive of immediate and longer-term symptoms over the first year. Survivors who had a history of interpersonal violence, including physical abuse and sexual assault, were also at greater risk.

Higher educational attainment was associated with fewer PTSD symptoms, the study found.

"By looking at PTSD symptom patterns across different contexts, we can have greater confidence in predicting which patients are likely to need short- and long-term mental health services," said Lowe, a member of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. "Combining data from six countries was a major undertaking, but certainly worth the effort."

PTSD is characterized by a constellation of distressing symptoms, including nightmares, avoidance of reminders of the traumatic event, anger and irritability and an exaggerated startle response. The disorder is associated with increased risk for a variety of other negative consequences, including poor physical health, strained social relationships and disruptions in education and employment.

Lowe conducted the study with collaborators from the International Consortium to Predict PTSD, a large-scale effort to better understand the factors contributing to PTSD after a traumatic injury.

While the study is the first to examine PTSD symptom trajectories with pooled data, Lowe and colleagues hope that their work inspires researchers in other trauma exposed populations, including sexual assault and disaster survivors, to do the same.

The study was supported with a grant from the National Institutes of Health.
-end-


Yale School of Public Health

Related Ptsd Articles:

PTSD and moral injury linked to pregnancy complications
Elevated symptoms of PTSD and moral injury can lead to pregnancy complications, found a Veterans Affairs study of women military veterans.
Early treatment for PTSD after a disaster has lasting effects
In 1988, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck near the northern Armenian city of Spitak.
Cyberbullying Linked to Increased Depression and PTSD
Cyberbullying had the impact of amplifying symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in young people who were inpatients at an adolescent psychiatric hospital, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
Psychedelic drugs could help treat PTSD
Clinical trials suggest treatment that involves psychedelics can be more effective than psychotherapy alone.
Which is more effective for treating PTSD: Medication, or psychotherapy?
A systematic review and meta-analysis led by Jeffrey Sonis, MD, MPH, of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, finds there is insufficient evidence at present to answer that question.
Cannabis could help alleviate depression and suicidality among people with PTSD
Cannabis may be helping Canadians cope with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), new research suggests.
BU finds PTSD nearly doubles infection risk
A new Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) study is the first to examine the relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dozens of infection types in a nationwide cohort.
PTSD linked to increased risk of ovarian cancer
Women who experienced six or more symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in life had a twofold greater risk of developing ovarian cancer compared with women who never had any PTSD symptoms, according to a new study from researchers at Harvard T.H.
Brain stimulation for PTSD patients
University of Houston assistant professor of electrical engineering Rose T.
Female firefighters more likely to suffer PTSD, contemplate suicide
Female firefighters are fighting for their mental health as they perform their grueling duties.
More PTSD News and PTSD Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.