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Children and adolescents injured in traffic – associated psychological consequences: a literature review

Authors

  • Eva Olofsson,

    1. Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden
    2. Department of Orthopaedics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
    3. The Traffic Injury Register, Department of Orthopaedics, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • Olle Bunketorp,

    1. Department of Orthopaedics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
    2. The Traffic Injury Register, Department of Orthopaedics, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • Anna-Lena Andersson

    1. Department of Orthopaedics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
    2. Hospital Social Worker Division, Department of Geriatrics and Rehabilitation, Uddevalla Hospital, NU Hospital Organization, Uddevalla, Sweden
    3. The Traffic Injury Register, Department of Orthopaedics, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • Children injured in traffic – psychological consequences

Correspondence
Eva Olofsson, The Traffic Injury Register, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Östra, 416 85 Gothenburg, Sweden. Tel: +46 31-3435126 | Fax: +46 31-258307 | Email: eva.m.olofsson@vgregion.se

Abstract

Aim: To identify the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and PTSD symptoms (PTSS) among children and adolescents injured in traffic, and to assess predictors of such post-traumatic stress.

Methods: Studies identified from electronic databases were reviewed.

Results: Based on a review of 12 studies, fulfilling specified criteria, the prevalence of PTSS was estimated at 30% within 1 month and 13% at 3–6 months. The prevalence of PTSD was almost 30% at 1–2 months and decreased to the same level as PTSS at 3–6 months. Perceived threat and high levels of distress, anxiety symptoms and being female were significantly associated with PTSD and PTSS. Injury severity was positively related to the number of PTSD symptoms in one of eight studies. Types of accident, age and socioeconomic status were not related to the development of PTSD/PTSS.

Conclusion: Any child will be at risk of PTSD/PTSS, not just those with severe injuries. Trauma care should include procedures that could identify and prevent stress reactions in order to minimize the risk of associated psychological consequences.

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