Research Reports - Head injury and loss of consciousness raise the likelihood of developing and maintaining PTSD symptoms

J Trauma Stress. 2013 Dec;26(6):727-34

Roitman P, Gilad M, Ankri YL, Shalev AY

Mild traumatic brain injury has been associated with higher prevalence of
posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The extent to which head injury or loss of
consciousness predicts PTSD is unknown. To evaluate the contribution of head
injury and loss of consciousness to the occurrence of PTSD, we made a
longitudinal evaluation of 1,260 road accident survivors admitted to the
emergency department with head injury (n = 287), head injury and loss of
consciousness (n = 115), or neither (n = 858). A telephone-administered
posttraumatic symptoms scale inferred PTSD and quantified PTSD symptoms at 10
days and 8 months after admission. The study groups had similar heart rate, blood
pressure, and pain levels in the emergency department. Survivors with loss of
consciousness and head injury had higher prevalence of PTSD and higher levels of
PTSD symptoms, suggesting that patients with head injury and loss of
consciousness reported in the emergency department are at higher risk for PTSD.

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