Feasibility of a screening program for at-risk children following accidental injury

March, Sonja and Kenardy, Justin A. and Cobham, Vanessa E. and Nixon, Reginald D. V. and McDermott, Brett and De Young, Alexandra (2015) Feasibility of a screening program for at-risk children following accidental injury. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 28 (1). pp. 34-40. ISSN 0894-9867

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Screening is recommended as a simple method for identifying those who should be monitored for risk following trauma. Effective methods for implementing large-scale screening programs are yet to be established. This study tested the feasibility and utility of a screening program with hospitalized youth exposed to injury in 3 Australian hospitals. A total of 1,134 eligible families were contacted and 546 children (48.0%) screened for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) risk at 1-2 weeks postinjury. There were 95 (17.4%) children whose screen result was at-risk. A re-screening phase was introduced during the study, with 68 children completing the re-screen at 4-6 weeks postinjury, and 26 (38.2% of those re-screened) still at-risk. Of those initially screened, 29 (5.3%) completed diagnostic assessments, 21 (3.8%) were diagnosed with partial or full PTSD, and 17 (3.1%) commenced treatment. Screening was successful at identifying and reaching children with PTSD, but the response rate was lower than expected, which limited the utility of the program. The addition of a re-screening phase demonstrated that not all at-risk children required intervention. These findings replicate previous studies that have shown natural remission in PTSD symptoms and highlight the potential for re-screening as part of a watchful waiting approach.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2016 05:21
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2017 03:24
Uncontrolled Keywords: child; injury; screening; PTSD; risk
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110319 Psychiatry (incl. Psychotherapy)
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1002/jts.21981
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/26981

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