Work potential of road accident survivors with post-traumatic stress disorder

Behav Res Ther. 2005 Apr;43(4):475-83. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2004.03.008.


Work potential in adult survivors of road accidents with and without post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was examined at a mean of 8.6 months (SD = 3.77) post-accident. All participants were working prior to their accident. Results showed that survivors with PTSD had significantly less work potential post-accident than survivors without PTSD. Specific barriers to employability for survivors with PTSD identified by this study included high levels of depression, reduced time-management ability, and an over-concern or anxiety with physical injuries. Respondents with PTSD, however, reported significantly greater extrinsic motivation to work than those without PTSD. Early intervention and referral to occupational rehabilitation programs that: (1) help address these barriers to employability and stimulate the existing motivation to return to work, and (2) work alongside clinical treatment programs, may assist in the reduction of poor work outcomes that people with PTSD following road accidents often experience.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Employment / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / rehabilitation*
  • Work / psychology*