Predicting post-injury depression and PTSD risk

Addressing the psychological effects of injury can improve health and reduce the negative outcomes of injury. Yet, in a national survey, only 7% of trauma centers incorporate routine screening for PTSD symptoms.

623: Number of men consecutively enrolled from Level 1 trauma center; 55% of the 623 men were violently injured; 45% of these patients met criteria for mental health diagnosis at three months; Violent injury, childhood adversity and neighborhood disadvantage, and poorer pre-injury health are factors in identifying injured urban black men at highest risk for poor post-injury mental health outcomes.
(Image: Penn Nursing News)

An original investigation from Penn Nursing explores the risk and protective factors that contribute to post-injury mental health symptoms in urban black men. It finds that those men with violent injuries as compared to non-violent injuries have more severe post-injury mental health symptoms. More importantly, it shows the need to take into consideration prior life experiences, such as adverse childhood experiences, neighborhood disadvantage, pre-injury health, and psychological resources, in addition to acute stress responses to an injury event, in order to identify injured patients at highest risk for poor post-injury mental health outcomes.

“The intersection of prior trauma and adversity, prior exposure to challenging neighborhood disadvantage, and poorer pre-injury health and functioning should not be overlooked in the midst of acute injury care when assessing for the risk of post-injury mental health symptoms,” says lead investigator Therese S. Richmond, the Andrea B. Laporte Professor of Nursing, and associate dean for research and innovation.

Results of the study are set for publication in an upcoming issue of JAMA Surgery in an article titled “Contributors to Post-injury Mental Health in Urban Black Men With Serious Injuries.”

Read more at Penn Nursing News.