Intervention Review

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Psychosocial interventions for the prevention of disability following traumatic physical injury

  1. Mary De Silva1,
  2. Malcolm MacLachlan2,*,
  3. Declan Devane3,
  4. Deirdre Desmond4,
  5. Pamela Gallagher5,
  6. Ulrich Schnyder6,
  7. Muireann Brennan7,
  8. Vikram Patel1

Editorial Group: Cochrane Injuries Group

Published Online: 7 OCT 2009

Assessed as up-to-date: 3 FEB 2008

DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006422.pub3

How to Cite

De Silva M, MacLachlan M, Devane D, Desmond D, Gallagher P, Schnyder U, Brennan M, Patel V. Psychosocial interventions for the prevention of disability following traumatic physical injury. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD006422. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006422.pub3.

Author Information

  1. 1

    London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Nutrition & Public Health Intervention Research Unit, London, UK

  2. 2

    Trinity College, University of Dublin, Centre for Global Health and School of Psychology, Dublin, Ireland

  3. 3

    National University of Ireland Galway, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Galway, Ireland

  4. 4

    National University of Ireland, Department of Psychology, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland

  5. 5

    Dublin City University, School of Nursing, Dublin, Ireland

  6. 6

    University Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Zurich, Switzerland

  7. 7

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, International Emergency & Refugee Health Branch, Atlanta, GA, USA

*Malcolm MacLachlan, Centre for Global Health and School of Psychology, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Publication History

  1. Publication Status: New
  2. Published Online: 7 OCT 2009



References to studies included in this review

  1. References to studies included in this review
  2. References to studies excluded from this review
  3. References to studies awaiting assessment
  4. Additional references
Burns 2007 {published data only}
Holmes 2007 {published data only}
  • Holmes A, Hodgins G, Adey S, Menzel S, Danne P, Kossmann T, et al. Trial of interpersonal counselling after major physical trauma. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2007;41(11):926-33.
Pirente 2007 {published data only}
  • Pirente N, Blum C, Wortberg S, Bostanci S, Berger E, Lefering R, et al. Quality of life after multiple trauma: the effect of early onset psychotherapy on quality of life in trauma patients. Langenbecks Archives of Surgery 2007;392(6):739-45.
Turpin 2005 {published data only}
Zatzick 2001 {published data only}
  • Zatzick DF, Roy-Byrne P, Russo JE, Rivara FP, Koike A, Jurkovich GJ, et al. Collaborative interventions for physically injured trauma survivors: a pilot randomized effectiveness trial. General Hospital Psychiatry 2001;23(3):114-23.

References to studies excluded from this review

  1. References to studies included in this review
  2. References to studies excluded from this review
  3. References to studies awaiting assessment
  4. Additional references
Allen 1996 {published data only}
  • Allen K, Blascovich J. The value of service dogs for people with severe ambulatory disabilities - a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 1996; Vol. 275, issue 13:1001-6.
Andersson 2005 {published data only}
  • Andersson AL, Dahlback LO, Bunketrop O. Psychosocial aspects of road traffic trauma - benefits of an early intervention?. Injury 2005; Vol. 36, issue 8:917-26.
Bisson 2004 {published data only}
  • Bisson JI, Shepherd JP, Joy D, Probert R, Newcombe RG. Early cognitive-behavioural therapy for post-traumatic stress symptoms after physical injury. Randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry 2004; Vol. 184:63-9.
Bordow 1979 {published data only}
  • Bordow S, Porritt D. An experimental evaluation of crisis intervention. Social Science & Medicine 1979; Vol. 13A, issue 3:251-6.
Bryant 1998 {published data only}
  • Bryant, RA, Harvey AG, Dang ST, Sackville T, Basten C. Treatment for acute stress disorder: a comparison of cognitive-behavioural therapy and supportive counseling. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 1998;66:862-6.
Bugg (in press) {published data only}
  • Bugg A, Mason S. Preventing post-traumatic stress disorder following a traumatic injury: evaluation of the Pennebaker writing paradigm. Doctor of Clinical Psychology. Sheffield: Sheffield, In press (submitted):Complete.
Castillo 2002 {published data only}
  • Castillo J, Sanchez-Sosa JJ. Well-being and medical recovery in the critical care unit: the role of the nurse-patient interaction. Salud Mental 2002; Vol. 25, issue 2:21-31.
Christakou 2007 {published data only}
  • Christakou A, Zervas Y, Lavallee D. The adjunctive role of imagery on the functional rehabilitation of a grade II ankle sprain. Human Movement Science 2007; Vol. 26, issue 1:141-54.
Corey 1996 {published data only}
  • Corey DT, Koepfler LE, Etlin D, Day HI. A limited functional restoration program for injured workers: A randomized trial. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 1996; Vol. 6, issue 4:239-49.
Craig 1998 {published data only}
  • Craig A, Hancock K, Chang E, Dickson H. The effectiveness of group psychological intervention in enhancing perceptions of control following spinal cord injury. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 1998; Vol. 32, issue 1:112-8.
Cramer 2007 {published data only}
  • Cramer SC, Orr EL, Cohen MJ, Lacourse MG. Effects of motor imagery training after chronic, complete spinal cord injury. Experimental Brain Research 2007; Vol. 177, issue 2:233-42.
Cupal 2001 {published data only}
  • Cupal DD, Brewer BW. Effects of relaxation and guided imagery on knee strength, reinjury anxiety, and pain following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Rehabilitation Psychology 2001; Vol. 46:28-43.
Drechsel-Schlund 2003 {published data only}
  • Drechsel-Schlund C, Plinske W. Accidents at the workplace and psychological reactions - empirical research on the prevention of mental disorders after accidents at the workplace. [German]. Aktuelle Traumatologie 2003; Vol. 33, issue 6:295-9.
Dunn 2003 {published data only}
  • Dunn C. Brief motivational interviewing interventions targeting substance abuse in the acute care medical setting. Seminars in Clinical Neuropsychiatry 2003; Vol. 8, issue 3:188-96.
Dunn 2004 {published data only}
  • Dunn C, Droesch RM, Johnston BD, Rivara FP. Motivational interviewing with injured adolescents in the emergency department: in-session predictors of change. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 2004; Vol. 32:113-6.
Ehlers 2003 {published data only}
  • Ehlers A, Clark DM, Hackmann A, McManus F, Fennell M, Herbert C, et al. A randomized controlled trial of cognitive therapy, a self-help booklet, and repeated assessments as early interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry 2003; Vol. 60:1024-32.
Evans 1998 {published data only}
  • Evans RL, Connis RT, Haselkorn JK. Hospital-based rehabilitative care versus outpatient services: effects on functioning and health status. Disability and Rehabilitation 1998; Vol. 20, issue 8:298-307.
Evans 2001 {published data only}
  • Evans RL, Hendricks RD. Comparison of subacute rehabilitative care with outpatient primary medical care. Disability & Rehabilitation 2001; Vol. 23, issue 12:531-8.
Fauerbach 2002 {published data only}
  • Fauerbach JA, Lawrence JW, Haythornthwaite JA, Richter L. Coping with the stress of a painful medical procedure. Behaviour Research and Therapy 2002; Vol. 40, issue 9:1003-15.
Fecteau 1999 {published data only}
  • Fecteau G, Nicki R. Cognitive behavioural treatment of post traumatic stress disorder after motor vehicle accident. Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapy 1999; Vol. 27, issue 3:201-14.
Foa 1995 {published data only}
  • Foa, EB, Hearst-Ikeda D, Perry KJ. Evaluation of a brief cognitive behavioural program for the prevention of chronic PTSD in recent assault victims. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 1995;63:948-55.
Fronek 2005 {published data only}
  • Fronek P, Booth S, Kendall M, Miller D, Geraghty T. The effectiveness of a sexuality training program for the interdisciplinary spinal cord injury rehabilitation team. Sexuality and Disability 2005; Vol. 23, issue 2:51-63.
Girolami 2005 {published data only}
  • Girolami P. The impact of a school reentry program on the psychosocial adjustment of children with burn injuries. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering 2005.
Hagglund 2007 {published data only}
  • Hagglund M, Walden M, Ekstrand J. Lower reinjury rate with a coach-controlled rehabilitation program in amateur male soccer: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Sports Medicine 2007; Vol. 35, issue 9:1433-42.
Hagsten 2006 {published data only}
  • Hagsten B, Svensson O, Gardulf A. Health-related quality of life and self-reported ability concerning ADL and IADL after hip fracture: a randomized trial. Acta Orthopaedica 2006; Vol. 77, issue 1:114-9.
Hazard 2000 {published data only}
Jensen 2001 {published data only}
  • Jensen IB, Bergstrom G, Ljungquist T, Bodin L, Nygren AL. A randomized controlled component analysis of a behavioral medicine rehabilitation program for chronic spinal pain: are the effects dependent on gender?. Pain 2001; Vol. 91:65-78.
Kennedy 2003 {published data only}
King 1999 {published data only}
  • King C, Kennedy P. Coping effectiveness training for people with spinal cord injury: preliminary results of a controlled trial. British Journal of Clinical Psychology 1999; Vol. 38, issue Pt 1:5-14.
Kwon 2006 {published data only}
  • Kwon IS, Kim J, Park KM. Effects of music therapy on pain, discomfort, and depression for patients with leg fractures. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe chi 2006; Vol. 36, issue 4:630-6.
Latimer 2006 {published data only}
  • Latimer A, Martin, Ginis K, Arbour K. The efficacy of an implementation intention intervention for promoting physical activity among individuals with spinal cord injury: a randomized controlled trial. Rehabilitation Psychology 2006;51(4):273-80.
Lindstrom 1992 {published data only}
  • Lindstrom I, Ohlund C, Eek C, Wallin L, Peterson LE, Fordyce WE, et al. The effect of graded activity on patients with subacute low-back-pain - a randomized prospective clinical-study with an operant-conditioning behavioral-approach. Physical Therapy 1992; Vol. 72, issue 4:279-90.
McFarlane 2006 {published data only}
  • McFarlane JM, Groff JY, O'Brien JA, Watson K. Secondary prevention of intimate partner violence - a randomized controlled trial. Nursing Research 2006; Vol. 55, issue 1:52-61.
Melnyk 2004 {published data only}
  • Melnyk BM, Alpert-Gillis L, Feinstein NF, Crean HF, Johnson J, Fairbanks E, et al. Creating opportunities for parent empowerment: program effects on the mental health/coping outcomes of critically ill young children and their mothers. Pediatrics 2004; Vol. 113, issue 6:E597-607.
Menzel 2006 {published data only}
Miller 1975 {published data only}
  • Miller DK, Wolfe M, Spiegel MH. Therapeutic groups for patients with spinal cord injuries. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 1975; Vol. 56, issue 3:130-5.
Mitchell 1994 {published data only}
  • Mitchell R, I, Carmen G. The functional restoration approach to the treatment of chronic pain in patients with soft tissue and back injuries. Spine 1994; Vol. 19:633-42.
Moore 1983 {published data only}
  • Moore LE, Kaplan JZ. Hypnotically accelerated burn wound healing. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 1983; Vol. 26:16.
Norman 2004 {published data only}
  • Norman SA, Lumley MA, Dooley JA, Diamond MP. For whom does it work? Moderators of the effects of written emotional disclosure in a randomized trial among women with chronic pelvic pain. Psychosomatic Medicine 2004; Vol. 66, issue 2:174-83.
Oliveira 2006 {published data only}
  • Oliveira A, Gevirtz R, Hubbard D. A psycho-educational video used in the emergency department provides effective treatment for whiplash injuries. Spine 2006; Vol. 31, issue 15:1652-7.
Ottosson 2007 {published data only}
  • Ottosson C, Pettersson H, Johansson SE, Nyren O, Ponzer S. Recovery after minor traffic injuries: a randomized controlled trial. Plos Clinical Trials 2007; Vol. 2, issue 3.
Pain 2007 {published data only}
  • Pain H, Soopramanien A, Dallolio L, Prior R, Menarini M, Ventura M, et al. Outcomes from a randomized controlled trial of tele-rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injuries. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare 2007;13(Suppl 1):46-8.
Phillips 2001 {published data only}
  • Phillips VL, Vesmarovich S, Hauber R, Wiggers E, Egner A. Telehealth: reaching out to newly injured spinal cord patients. Public Health Reports 2001; Vol. 116, issue Suppl 1:94-102.
Porritt 1979 {published data only}
  • Porritt D. Social support in crisis: quantity or quality?. Social Science & Medicine 1979; Vol. 13A, issue 6:715-21.
Ross 1996 {published data only}
  • Ross MJ, Berger RS. Effects of stress inoculation training on athletes' postsurgical pain and rehabilitation after orthopedic injury. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 1996; Vol. 64, issue 2:406-10.
Rotem-Lehrer 2007 {published data only}
  • Rotem-Lehrer N, Laufer Y. Effect of focus of attention on transfer of a postural control task following an ankle sprain. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy 2007; Vol. 37, issue 9:564-9.
Rottkamp 1976 {published data only}
  • Rottkamp BC. An experimental nursing study: a behavior modification approach to nursing therapeutics in body positioning of spinal cord-injured patients. Nursing Research 1976; Vol. 25, issue 3:181-6.
Rowland 2006 {published data only}
  • Rowland JL, White GW, Wyatt DA. Analysis of an intervention to reduce or prevent secondary conditions for people with spinal cord injuries. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings 2006; Vol. 13, issue 3:263-71.
Scholes 2007 {published data only}
  • Scholes C, Turpin G, Mason S. A randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of providing self-help information to people with symptoms fo acute stress disorder following a traumatic injury. Behaviour Research and Therapy 2007; Vol. 45:2527-36.
Scholten-Peeters 2006 {published data only}
  • Scholten-Peeters GG, Neeleman-van der Steen CW, van der Windt DA, Hendriks EJ, Verhagen AP, Oostendorp RA. Education by general practitioners or education and exercises by physiotherapists for patients with whiplash-associated disorders? A randomized clinical trial. Spine 2006; Vol. 31, issue 7:723-31.
Sirles 1991 {published data only}
  • Sirles AT, Brown K, Hilyer JC. Effects of back school education and exercise in back injured municipal workers. Official Journal of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses 1991;39(1):7-12.
Smith 1984 {published data only}
  • Smith JE, Rachman SJ. Non-accidental injury to children - II. A controlled evaluation of a behavioural management programme. Behaviour Research and Therapy 1984; Vol. 22, issue 4:349-66.
Soderstrom 2007 {published data only}
  • Soderstrom CA, DiClemente CC, Dischinger PC, Hebel JR, McDuff DR, Auman KM, et al. A controlled trial of brief intervention versus brief advice for at-risk drinking trauma center patients: commentary. Journal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care 2007;62(5):1111-2.
Söderlund 2007 {published data only}
  • Söderlund A, Lindberg P. Cognitive behavioural components in physiotherapy management of chronic whiplash associated disorders (WAD) - a randomised group study. Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia 2007; Vol. 29, issue 1 Suppl A:A5-11.
Ventegodt 2004 {published data only}
  • Ventegodt S, Merrick J, Andersen NJ, Bendix T. A combination of gestalt therapy, Rosen Body Work, and Cranio Sacral therapy did not help in chronic whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) - results of a randomized clinical trial. The Scientific World Journal 2004; Vol. 4:1055-68.
Vick 2001 {published data only}
  • Vick T. Post traumatic stress disorder and the intensive care patient. 2001; Vol. Wales:Complete.
Vick 2004 {published data only}
  • Vick T. Psychological follow-up after critical illness: a randomised controlled trial of cognitive behavioural therapy for traumatic stress symptoms following critical care admission. 2004; Vol. Wales:Complete.
Wagner 2007 {published data only}
  • Wagner AW, Zatzicka DF, Ghesquierea A, Jurkovicha GJ. Behavioral activation as an early intervention for posttraumatic stress disorder and depression among physically injured trauma survivors. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 2007; Vol. 14, issue 4:341-9.
Wise 2002 {published data only}
  • Wise JB, Ellis GD, Trunnell EP. Effects of a curriculum designed to generalize self-efficacy from weight-training exercises to activities of daily living among adults with spinal injuries. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 2002; Vol. 32, issue 3:500-21.
Yates 2000 {published data only}
  • Yates K. Social support and well-being in minor burns victims. 2000; Vol. Northern/Yorkshire Regional Office:Complete.
Zatzick 2004 {published data only}
  • Zatzick D, Roy-Byrne P, Russo J, Rivara F, Droesch R, Wagner A, et al. A randomized effectiveness trial of stepped collaborative care for acutely injured trauma survivors. Archives of General Psychiatry 2004; Vol. 61, issue 5:498-506.
Zemper 2003 {published data only}
  • Zemper ED, Tate DG, Roller S, Forchheimer M, Chiodo A, Nelson VS, et al. Assessment of a holistic wellness program for persons with spinal cord injury. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 2003; Vol. 82, issue 12:957-68.

References to studies awaiting assessment

  1. References to studies included in this review
  2. References to studies excluded from this review
  3. References to studies awaiting assessment
  4. Additional references
Humphreys 2003 {published data only}
  • Humphreys AL. Minimising the psychological effects of road traffic accidents. 2003; Vol. North West Regional Office:Complete. [N0280119831]
McKinlay 2003 {published data only}
  • McKinlay R. A comparison of eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing treatment and relaxation therapy in patients with chronic pain. 2003; Vol. Scotland. [N0609137009]
Tecic unpublished {published and unpublished data}
  • Tecic T, Althaus A, Schneider A, Lefering R, Bouillon B, Rehm KE, et al. A randomized controlled trial comparing early short-term inpatient psychotherapeutic treatment with additional ongoing ambulatory psychotherapy in trauma patients. Unpublished.

Additional references

  1. References to studies included in this review
  2. References to studies excluded from this review
  3. References to studies awaiting assessment
  4. Additional references
Bisson 2007
Gersons 2005
Hunot 2007
Kornør 2007
  • Kornør H, Winje D, Ekeberg Ø, Johansen K, Weisæth L, Ormstad SS, et al. Psychosocial interventions after crises and accidents. Oslo 2007.
Kornør 2008
  • Kornør H, Winje D, Ekeberg O, Weisaeth L, Kirkehei I, Johansen K, et al. Early trauma-focused cognitive-behavioural therapy to prevent chronic post-traumatic stress disorder and related symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Psychiatry 2008;8:81.
MacLachlan 2009
  • MacLachlan M, Swartz L. Disability and international development: towards inclusive global health. New York: Springer-Verlag, 2009.
Moher 1999
Montgomery 2003
  • Montgomery P, Dennis J. Cognitive behavioural interventions for sleep problems in adults aged 60+. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2003, Issue 1. [DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003161]
Mossey 1990
  • Mossey J, Knott K, Craik R. The effects of persistent depressive symptoms on hip fracture recovery. Journal of Gerontology 1990;45:163-8.
Review Manager [Computer program]
  • The Nordic Cochrane Centre. The Cochrane Collaboration. Review Manager. Version 5.0. Copenhagen: The Nordic Cochrane Centre. The Cochrane Collaboration, 2008.
Rose 2002
  • Rose S, Bisson J, Wessely S. Psychological debriefing for preventing post traumatic stress disorder. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2002, Issue 2. [DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000560]
Ruddy 2005
Schnyder 2001
  • Schnyder U, Moergeli H, Trentz O, Klaghofer R, Buddesberg C. Prediction of psychiatric morbidity in severely injured accident victims at one-year follow-up. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2001;164:653-6.
Schulz 1995
  • Schulz K, Chalmers I, Hayes RJ, Altman DG. Empirical evidence of bias. Dimensions of methodological quality associated with estimates of treatment effects in controlled trials. JAMA 1995;273(5):408-12.
Shalev 1998
  • Shalev A, Freedman S, Peri T, Brandes D, Sahar T, Orr S, et al. Prospective study of posttraumatic stress disorder and depression following trauma. American Journal of Psychiatry 1998;155:630-7.
Sobel 1995
Soo 2007
WHO 2002
  • Peden M, McGee K, Sharma G. The injury chart book: a graphical overview of the global burden of injuries. World Health Organizsation, 2002.
Zatzick 2002
  • Zatzick D, Kang S, Muller H, Russo J, Rivara F, Katon W, et al. Predicting posttraumatic distress in hospitalized trauma survivors with acute injuries. American Journal of Psychiatry 2002;159:941-6.