The prevalence of psychological distress in a sample of facial trauma victims. A comparative cross-sectional study between UK and Australia

J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2012 Jan;40(1):82-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jcms.2011.01.014. Epub 2011 Mar 4.


Aim: The potential psycho-social sequelae of traumatic facial injury have received increasing attention in recent years, however there remains paucity of cross-national comparative data on the prevalence of psychological distress following such trauma. The aim of the present study was to investigate and compare the prevalence of anxiety and depression in an adult patient group who have been treated for maxillofacial trauma, and who attend a follow-up clinic in either the West Midlands, UK or New South Wales (NSW), Australia. By using an identical methodological and statistical approach, we hoped to add to the available information on the incidence of early psychological distress in patients following facial trauma.

Method: This was a comparative cross-sectional study. A sample of fifty consecutive adult victims of facial trauma in the West Midlands UK, was compared to a group of fifty-two facially injured patients in NSW, Australia. Demographic data was collected, following which the Hospital Depression and Anxiety Scale (HADS) were applied to both groups of patients.

Results: Psychometric scores suggestive of anxiety and depressive state were common in both groups of patients. The mean HADS depression subscale score for UK patients compared to Australian patients was not significantly different (5.94 versus 5.54 p=0.62). This was also the case for the HADS anxiety subscale (5.96 versus 5.94 p=0.98). Although the number of patients achieving scores suggestive of a 'caseness' for co-morbid psychological state was higher within the UK sample when compared to the Australian group (20% versus 11.5% for HADS depression subscale, and 20% versus 15% for HADS anxiety subscales respectively); these differences did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusion: This cross-national comparative study has shown that anxiety and depression in facial trauma victims were comparable in both settings.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maxillofacial Injuries / complications
  • Maxillofacial Injuries / psychology*
  • New South Wales
  • Psychometrics
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • United Kingdom