Survivors of common traumatic events such as road-traffic accidents, assaults and occupational injury experience a range of emotional reactions which can cause distress and dysfunction. For most people these reactions are temporary but a minority of people can go on to develop anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Early intervention can help but it is impossible to treat everyone who might go on to develop problems. Researchers from Sheffield University studied 823 patients attending an emergency department following accidental injury. They filled out a questionnaire at the time and were assessed again 1 and 3 months later. The researchers found that a previous history of mental-health problems, a high score for neuroticism and having PTSD symptoms after a month all predicted adverse outcomes at 3 months.
Mason, S. ... [et al] - The development of a clinically useful tool for predicting the development of psychological disorder following injury British Journal of Clinical Psychology March 2009, 48(1), 31-45