Long-Term Posttraumatic Stress Following Accidental Injury in Children and Adolescents: Results of a 2–4-Year Follow-Up Study

Els P. M. van Meijel, Maj R. Gigengack, Eva Verlinden, Alida F. W. van der Steeg, J. Carel Goslings, Frank W. Bloemers, Jan S. K. Luitse, Frits Boer, Martha A. Grootenhuis, Ramón J. L. Lindauer

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In this study, we determined the long-term prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children and adolescents after accidental injury and gained insight into factors that may be associated with the occurrence of PTSD. In a prospective longitudinal study, we assessed diagnosed PTSD and clinically significant self-reported posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in 90 children (11–22 years of age, 60% boys), 2–4 years after their accident (mean number of months 32.9, SD 6.6). The outcome was compared to the first assessment 3 months after the accident in 147 children, 8–18 years of age. The prevalence of PTSD was 11.6% at first assessment and 11.4% at follow-up. Children with PTSD or PTSS reported significantly more permanent physical impairment than children without. Children who completed psychotherapy had no symptoms or low levels of symptoms at follow-up. Given the long-term prevalence of PTSD in children following accidents, we recommend systematic monitoring of injured children. The role of possible associated factors in long-term PTSS needs further study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-607
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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