Post-traumatic stress disorder symptom severity in service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with different types of injuries
McLay RN, Webb-Murphy J, Hammer P, Volkert S, Klam W.
CNS Spectr. 2012 Mar;17(1):11-5.
Abstract. Introduction: Risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) varies in part due to the nature of the traumatic event involved. Both injury and return from combat pose high risk of PTSD symptoms. How different injuries may predispose towards PTSD is less well understood. Methods: A retrospective record review was conducted from 1402 service members who had returned to Naval Medical Center San Diego from Iraq or Afghanistan and who had completed the PTSD Checklist as part of their post-deployment screening. Rates of PTSD were examined in relation to mechanism of injury.Results: Of those without injury, 8% met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual criteria for PTSD. Thirteen percent of those with a penetrating injury, 29% with blunt trauma, and 33% with combination injuries met criteria for PTSD. PTSD severity scores varied significantly according to type of injury. Discussion: The World War I concept of “shell shock” implied that blast-related injuries were more likely to result in psychological symptoms than were other injuries. These data may support that idea. Circumstance of injury, population differences, and reporting bias could also have influenced the results. Conclusion: These results suggest that service members with blunt or combination injuries merit particular attention when screening for PTSD.