Introduction: Motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) are daily occurrences in Malaysia but the extent to which victims are psychologically affected is not well known. The objective of this study is to determine the incidence and demographic characteristics of patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to MVAs at a university hospital in Malaysia.
Methods: Patients presenting to the emergency department from August to October 2014 due to MVA-related injuries were recruited. After a period of at least one month, they were followed-up and screened using the validated Malay Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist Civilian version. A score of 30 was chosen as the cut-off point for PTSD.
Results: In total, 112 patients presented to the emergency department following MVAs during the study period. Of these, 60.7% agreed for the follow-up. Among the respondents, the mean age was 26 years, 91.2% were males, 66.2% were married, 85.3% were Malays and 88.3% were Muslims. The calculated incidence of PTSD was 7.4%. There was no significant difference noted between the PTSD and non-PTSD groups.
Conclusion: A considerable number of MVA victims in Malaysia may develop PTSD after the accident. Further research is needed to explore the factors that contribute or protect to develop the condition.
Keywords: Post-traumatic stress disorder; incidence; motor vehicle accidents.