Life after electrical injury. Risk factors for psychiatric sequelae

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999 Oct 30:888:356-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1999.tb07970.x.


Long-term cognitive and emotional deficits have been commonly reported in electrical injury (EI) survivors. However, it remains undetermined what factors may lead to the development of such effects in some patients and not in others. In this study, we hypothesized that certain elements of subjective EI experience may predict specific psychiatric sequelae. A group of 73 post-acute EI patients were included in this retrospective study. Statistical associations were examined between major psychiatric diagnoses (posttraumatic stress disorder and major depression) and such EI descriptors as having experienced "no-let-go" or having been knocked away on contact, as well as loss of consciousness or altered states of consciousness at the scene of the accident (including amnesia for the event). The study results will help physicians determine which patients may be at increased risk of developing psychiatric symptoms and address these issues as part of their total rehabilitation plan.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Electric Injuries / complications
  • Electric Injuries / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*