Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Adult and Pediatric Trauma Populations: A Literature Review

Evander Meneses, Kyle Kinslow, Mark McKenney, Adel Elkbuli
Journal of Surgical Research 2021, 259: 357-362
Each year, traumatic injuries affect 2.6 million adults in the United States leading to significant health problems. Although many sequelae stem directly from physical manifestations of one's sustained injuries, mental health may also be affected in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can lead to decreased physical recovery, social functioning, and quality of life. Several screening tools such as the Injured Trauma Survivor Screen, PTSD CheckList, Primary Care PTSD, and Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 have been used for initial PTSD screening of the trauma patient. Early screening is important as it serves as the first step in delivering the appropriate mental health care to those in need. Factors that increase the likelihood of developing PTSD include younger age, nonwhite ethnicity, and lower socioeconomic status. Current data on male or female predominance of PTSD in trauma populations is inconsistent. Cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis, and psychoeducation have been used to treat symptoms of PTSD. This review discusses the impact PTSD has on the trauma patient and the need for universal screening in this susceptible population. Ultimately, trauma centers should implement such universal screening protocols as to avoid absence, or undertreatment of PTSD, both of which having longstanding consequences.

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