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Legal events as predictors of posttraumatic stress in injured trauma survivors

Author(s)Osenbach, Janyce E, Stubbs, Jennifer, Wang, Jin, Russo, Joan, and Zatzick, Douglas
Title Legal events as predictors of posttraumatic stress in injured trauma survivors
Source Psychiatry. New York: Spring 2009. Vol. 72, Iss. 1; pg. 70, 9 pgs
Date 2009
Document type Journal article
Coverage USA
Summary The aim of this study was to prospectively describe the spectrum of legal encounters experienced by randomly screened injured trauma victims. Research has suggested that among all legal events being involved in a lawsuit would be most strongly associated with the persistence of PTSD symptoms. The study also explored the association between the cumulative effect of multiple recurrent legal events and other legal encounters, such as legal consultations. The study found that litigation was not significantly associated with higher PTSD symptoms, contrasting with the results of prior research. It was noted that being a victim of non-violent crime was associated with trend level elevations in PTSD symptoms. The findings suggest that it may be premature to exclude litigants from trauma focused trials and this study has important implications for trauma-focused intervention development. It is suggested trauma-focused intervention development might benefit from an expanded focus on community level prevention activities.
Keywords PTSD; posttraumatic stress disorder; trauma; stressful life events; legal events; participation
Topic Psychological symptoms and treatment.