Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Single Traumatic Injury Lifts Psychopathology Risk

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Single Traumatic Injury Lifts Psychopathology Risk

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- A single, traumatic injury is associated with more psychiatric diagnoses and more psychotropic medication prescriptions among children and adolescents than among those uninjured, according to a prospective, cohort study.

Researchers studied 20,507 patients aged 10-19 years who were treated at Group Health, a large health maintenance organization based in Seattle. Dr. Doug Zatzick and his associate studied the 6,116 teenagers (30%) who experienced a single traumatic injury in the index year of 2001 and looked for mental health diagnoses and psychotropic prescriptions in these patients for 2002, 2003, or 2004. They compared these factors with the group of 14,391 teens (70%) who were not injured.

"Yes, a single event in 2001 was associated with increased risk for a broad range of psychopathology," Dr. Zatzick said at the annual meeting of the International Society for Trauma Stress Studies.

Injury during the index year was significantly and independently associated with an increased likelihood of any psychiatric diagnosis (odds ratio, 1.23) in this population-based study, said Dr. Zatzick, of the psychiatry and behavioral science departments at the University of Washington, Seattle. Dr. Zatzick conducted the study with Dr. David Grossman, a pediatrician at the Group Health Research Center in Seattle.

Specifically, they found that a significantly higher percentage of injured children had an anxiety diagnosis in 2002, 6.5%, compared with 4.8%) of the noninjured group. A total 6.2% of the injured adolescents were subsequently diagnosed with a disruptive behavior disorder, compared with 4.6%) of their noninjured peers.

A secondary aim of the study was to look at prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI). …

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