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Logo of bmcpsycBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Psychiatry
 
BMC Psychiatry. 2012; 12: 1.
Published online Jan 9, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1471-244X-12-1
PMCID: PMC3276433
Posttraumatic stress symptoms and health-related quality of life: a two year follow up study of injury treated at the emergency department
Juanita A Haagsma,corresponding author1 Suzanne Polinder,1 Miranda Olff,2 Hidde Toet,3 Gouke J Bonsel,1 and Ed F van Beeck1
1Department of Public Health, Erasmus Medical Center, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2Center for Psychological Trauma, Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Center/de Meren, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3Consumer Safety Institute, The Netherlands
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Juanita A Haagsma: j.haagsma/at/erasmusmc.nl; Suzanne Polinder: s.polinder/at/erasmusmc.nl; Miranda Olff: m.olff/at/amc.uva.nl; Hidde Toet: h.toet/at/veiligheid.nl; Gouke J Bonsel: g.bonsel/at/erasmusmc.nl; Ed F van Beeck: e.vanbeeck/at/erasmusmc.nl
Received March 9, 2011; Accepted January 9, 2012.
Abstract
Background
Among injury victims relatively high prevalence rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been found. PTSD is associated with functional impairments and decreased health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Previous studies that addressed the latter were restricted to injuries at the higher end of the severity spectrum. This study examined the association between PTSD symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in a comprehensive population of injury patients of all severity levels and external causes.
Methods
We conducted a self-assessment survey which included items regarding demographics of the patient, accident type, sustained injuries, EuroQol health classification system (EQ-5D) and Health Utilities Index (HUI) to measure functional outcome and HRQoL, and the Impact of Event Scale (IES) to measure PTSD symptoms. An IES-score of 35 or higher was used as indication for the presence of PTSD. The survey was completed by 1,781 injury patients two years after they were treated at the Emergency Department (ED), followed by either hospital admission or direct discharge to the home environment.
Results
Symptoms indicative of PTSD were associated with more problems on all EQ-5D and HUI3 domains of functional outcome and a considerable utility loss in both hospitalized (0.23-0.24) and non-hospitalized (0.32-0.33) patients. Differences in reported problems between patients with IES scores higher or lower than 35 were largest for EQ-5D health domains pain/discomfort (82% versus 28%) and anxiety/depression (53% versus 11%) and HUI domains emotion (92% versus 33%) and pain (84% versus 38%). After adjusting for potential confounders, PTSD remained strongly associated with adverse HRQoL.
Conclusions
Among patients treated at an ED posttraumatic stress symptoms indicative of PTSD were associated with a considerable decrease in HRQoL in both hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients. PTSD symptoms may therefore raise a major barrier for full recovery of injury patients of even minor levels of severity.
Keywords: posttraumatic stress disorder, injury, functional outcome, quality of life
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