Few Patients Assessed for Effects of PTSD, Acute Stress Following Trauma

Most adult and pediatric centers do not have assessment or educational protocols for patients who experience trauma.

HealthDay News — After experiencing trauma, few patients are assessed for or educated about the potential effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or acute stress disorder (ASD), according to a study published in the Journal of Trauma Nursing.

Katherine E. Guess, MD, MPH, from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, and colleagues evaluated current levels of assessment and education relating to ASD and PTSD in level 1 trauma centers in the United States. A web-based survey was administered to trauma program managers and trauma medical directors of 209 adult and 70 pediatric level 1 trauma centers.

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The researchers found that 25% of adult centers and 36.17% of pediatric centers had an assessment protocol for PTSD, while 12.5% of adult centers and 27.66% of pediatric centers had an assessment protocol for ASD for use with patients who experienced trauma. Educational protocols were offered for use with trauma patients by 12.37% of adult centers and 20% of pediatric centers for PTSD; educational protocols were maintained for 7.22% and 17.5% of adult and pediatric centers, respectively, for ASD. Even fewer centers had established assessment and educational protocols targeting formal and informal caregivers.

“The impact of mental health issues among trauma patients and formal and informal caregivers is one that the health care industry can no longer afford to ignore,” the authors write.

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