High rates of psychosocial complications after road traffic injuries

Injury. 1997 Oct;28(8):539-43. doi: 10.1016/s0020-1383(97)00083-1.


A total of 134 people, aged between 25 and 60, were randomly selected from the Traffic Injury Register in Göteborg and interviewed 2 years after the accident. They were asked by telephone about their lives before and after the accident. There was a high rate of complications, even after some minor injuries. Half of the respondents still reported travel anxiety. Pain, fear and fatigue were also common. Sixteen per cent of those employed could not return to their ordinary jobs. Nearly one-third reported a reduction in leisure-time activities. Cervical spine 'distortion' was the only diagnosis associated with a high rate of complications. Married/cohabiting individuals developed complications more often than single people (p = 0.01). A risk factor for women--but not for men--was if they had children (p = 0.004). With respect to dealing with insurance, inadequate medical information and poor psychosocial support were other risk factors. Intervention programmes offering psychological and social support should be included in the care of traffic accident victims.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Cost of Illness
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Mental Disorders / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Support
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / rehabilitation