a1 Institute of Neurology and the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Queen Square, London
A prospective study documenting psychopathology was undertaken in 48 subjects exposed to a range of physical trauma, but whose injuries were of similar severity. No support was found for the DSM-III-R view correlating the severity of the stressor with the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Distress post injury (high scores on the impact of event scale), indicative of difficulty with cognitive assimilation of the traumatic event, was found to be highly predictive of psychiatric morbidity and PTSD at 6 months.
c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Anthony Feinstein, The Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WCIN 3BG.