Association of objective measures of trauma exposure from motor vehicle accidents and posttraumatic stress symptoms


  • We are grateful to Kenji Mori, Kazuko Okamura, and Kenji Hagita for their cooperation. We thank Tyuji Nakamaru and Masahiro Nemoto for their crash investigations, and we also thank Kaori Sato for assistance with data analysis.


Associations of objective measures of trauma exposure with psychological sequelae following motor vehicle accidents (MVA) were examined in a Japanese population. Impact and injury severity of 93 MVA victims was assessed using on-the-scene in-depth investigations measured by the Injury Severity Score (ISS), barrier equivalent speed (BES), and change in velocity during the impact (Delta-v). Results showed that ISS, BES, and Delta-v were not related to posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) or psychiatric symptoms at 5 and 14 months after the MVA. Subjective measures (e.g., perceived life risk, persistent medical problems) were significantly related to psychological sequelae. These findings suggest that the objective measures of trauma exposure are not associated directly with PTSS or psychiatric symptoms after an MVA.