Background: In order to gain insight into the health impact of violence related injury, the psychological consequences should be taken into account. There has been uncertainty regarding the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress disorder (ASD), and depression among patients with violence related injury. An overview of prevalence rates may inform our understanding of both prognosis and recovery for these patients. Therefore, we aim to provide an overview of the published literature reporting the prevalence rates and trajectories of PTSD, ASD, and depression following violence related injury, and to assess the quality of the studies included.
Methods: A systematic review was conducted in order to provide an overview of the published literature reporting the prevalence of PTSD, ASD and depression following violence related injury treated at the emergency department or hospital. The EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Central, PubMed, and PsycINFO databases were searched systematically. The quality of the included studies was assessed.
Results: We included sixteen studies reporting the prevalence rates of PTSD, ASD, or depression. Clear prevalence trajectories could not be identified because the range of prevalence rates was diverse at each time point. Heterogeneity resulting from the use of different diagnostic instruments limited comparability. The included studies were susceptible to bias due to low response rates and loss to follow-up.
Conclusions: The differences in diagnostic instruments limited comparability of the prevalence rates. Therefore, clear prevalence trajectories could not be identified. Study participation and loss to follow-up require more attention in future studies. Uniformity in diagnostic procedures is needed in order to draw general conclusions on the prevalence of PTSD, ASD, and depression following violence related injury.
Keywords: Depression; Emergency department; Injury; Post-traumatic stress disorder; Prevalence; Trauma; Violence.