Accident cognitions and subsequent psychological trauma



This study used a sample of 72 consecutive attendees to hospital following motor vehicle accidents. It aimed to assess the relationship between demographic variables, details of the accident and cognitions about the accident recorded soon afterward, and degree of psychological trauma 3 and 6 months later. Psychological trauma was assessed using the General Health Questionnaire, Impact of Event Scale, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Interview. A structured interview was used to gain information about demographic, accident, and accident cognition variables. Results showed that initial cognitions such as perceived threat to life, rather than demographic or accident variables, had the strongest relationships to subsequent trauma.