Predictors of psychological distress following serious injury

J Trauma Stress. 2000 Oct;13(4):681-92. doi: 10.1023/A:1007866318207.


Posttraumatic psychological distress was assessed in 109 survivors of serious physical injury during acute hospitalization and at 3 months postdischarge. Participants had an average of 4.4 injuries, with a mean injury severity score of 15.5, denoting moderate to severe injuries. Using the Impact of Event Scale (IES), the mean total IES score in-hospital was 22.5 and at 3 months postdischarge was 30.6. Approximately 32% of individuals experienced high levels of distress in-hospital, and this increased to 49% at 3 months postdischarge. The regression model that best explained the variance in posttraumatic psychological distress at 3 months postdischarge included greater psychological distress during hospitalization, a positive drug/alcohol screen on hospital admission, younger age, and the lack of anticipating problems returning to normal life activities. These findings suggest that factors present during acute hospitalization may be used to identify individuals at risk for increased psychological distress, several months following serious physical injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Support
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnosis
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / rehabilitation