Early risk factors for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic distress after hospital admission for unintentional injury: Multicentre cohort study

Objective To quantify psychological morbidity and identify baseline factors associated with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic distress symptoms up to 12 months post-injury. Methods Multicentre cohort study of 668 adults, aged 16 to 70, admitted to 4 UK NHS hospital trusts. Data on injury, socio-demographic characteristics and health status was collected at recruitment. Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic distress were measured at 1, 2, 4 and 12 months post-injury. Multilevel linear regression assessed associations between patient and injury characteristics and psychological outcomes over 12 months follow-up. Results Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic distress scores were highest 1 month post-injury, and remained above baseline at 2, 4 and 12 months post-injury. Moderate or severe injuries, previous psychiatric diagnoses, higher pre-injury depression and anxiety scores, middle age (45–64 years), greater deprivation and lower pre-injury quality of life (QoL) were associated with higher depression scores post-injury. Previous psychiatric diagnoses, higher pre-injury depression and anxiety scores, middle age, greater deprivation and lower pre-injury QoL were associated with higher anxiety scores post-injury. Traffic injuries or injuries from being struck by objects, multiple injures (≥3), being female, previous psychiatric diagnoses, higher pre-injury anxiety scores and greater deprivation were associated with higher post-traumatic distress scores post-injury. Conclusion A range of risk factors, identifiable shortly after injury, are associated with psychological morbidity occurring up to 12 months post-injury in a general trauma population. Further research is required to explore the utility of these, and other risk factors in predicting psychological morbidity on an individual patient basis.