Demographic and Clinical Characteristics of Motor Vehicle Accident Victims in the Community General Health Outpatient Clinic: A Comparison of PTSD and Non-PTSD Subjects

The leading posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cause in the general population is the motor vehicle accident (MVA), which often has enduring symptomatology. The authors discuss characteristics of clinical and epidemiological PTSD features among MVA victims, who, long after the MVA event, live in a nonhospitalized community setting, and include premorbid and peritraumatic factors exploration. Identified over a 7-year period from a community general health outpatient clinic registry, MVA victims (n=60; 23 males, 37 females), were given an extensive structured battery of clinical, diagnostic, and epidemiological ratings. MVA-related PTSD (MVAR-PTSD) was found in 30 subjects (50%; 12 males, 18 females), according to study results. Six individuals with PTSD were in full remission, and 16 with PTSD were in partial remission. PTSD and non-PTSD groups showed no significant occupational function or demographic differences. The most common MVAR-PTSD comorbid conditions were obsessive-compulsive disorder (0.5%), generalized anxiety disorder (7.8%), and social phobia (20%). PTSD could not be predicted by previous MVAs. MVAR-PTSD subjects scored worse on the Toronto Alexithymia Rating Scale, Impulsivity Scale, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Impact of Event Scale, and Clinician-Administered Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Scale, Part 2 (CAPS-2). Study observations indicated that in a community-based sample following an MVA, there was a relatively high PTSD rate. The importance of subsyndromal illness forms is underscored by the relatively high partially remitted MVAR-PTSD (n=16) rate. Alexithymia may be an adaptive event stress coping method. PTSD development does not appear to be associated with MVA-related physical injury severity.

  • Authors:
    • Kupchik, Marina
  • Publication Date: 2007


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 244-250
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01055364
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 7 2007 1:25PM