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Every third child affected by PTSD after traffic accidents: study

English.news.cn   2014-05-23 21:23:18

STOCKHOLM, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Swedish research shows that nearly every third child who is injured in traffic accidents suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) one month after the accident, according to a statement released by the University of Gothenburg Friday.

"The children often experience much stress and fear in association with the accident, and may feel that their life is in danger. This can cause PTSD in the long term, and this may constitute a major obstacle in their everyday lives," researcher Eva Olofsson said.

A total of 292 children who had been injured in traffic in Gothenburg completed a questionnaire about residual consequences of the accident. The study showed one year after the accident, 22 percent of the children were still suffering from related mental and psychosocial problems.

Residual mental problems were more common among children who had been in an accident than physical problems, which affected 16 percent of the children. However, the mental problems were not related to the severity of the physical injuries.

"My results suggest that the experience of having an accident has a greater effect that the actual physical injuries. To be injured as an unprotected pedestrian in an accident with a vehicle can be experienced as more stressful, more frightening and more threatening than, for example, a cycling accident with noone else involved," said Olofsson.

"We saw also that receiving care as an inpatient, with procedures that may be experienced as frightening in an unfamiliar environment, may produce more stress than receiving care at a clinic and being allowed home the same day," she added.

Only six out of ten children and adolescents who are involved in traffic accident wear a helmet when cycling, research showed.

Editor: Fu Peng
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