Aim: The aim of this study was to examine the utility of the Peritraumatic Distress Inventory (PDI) as a predictor of subsequent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in severe motor vehicle accident survivors.
Methods: Patients consecutively admitted to the intensive care unit were assessed immediately and 1 month after accidents in this prospective study. The predictive value for post-traumatic stress symptoms at 1 month of the PDI at initial assessment was examined by using multivariate regression analysis. Moreover, the accuracy of the PDI as a predictor of PTSD was determined using receiver operator characteristic curve analysis. Post-traumatic stress symptoms were assessed using the Impact of Event Scale – Revised questionnaire, and PTSD was assessed using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale.
Results: Seventy-nine patients completed the Impact of Event Scale – Revised questionnaire, and 64 patients participated in a structured interview. Of 64 patients, 13 met the diagnostic criteria of full or partial PTSD. The PDI was an independent predictor of post-traumatic stress symptoms (P = 0.003). The data indicated that a cut-off score of 23 maximized the balance between sensitivity (77%) and specificity (82%) in this study. Compared with negative predictive value (93%), positive predictive value was not high (53%).
Conclusion: The study suggests the predictive usefulness of the PDI for subsequent PTSD in accident survivors. Its adequate usage should be further elaborated.