Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the prevalence of posttraumatic stress among survivors of serious injury-producing car crashes. METHODS: This population-based prospective cohort study, conducted in New Zealand, recruited hospitalized car occupants (passengers and drivers) as well as nonhospitalized drivers after a crash in which at least one occupant was hospitalized. Fifty-nine hospitalized passengers (62%) and 209 drivers (72%) completed five- and 18-month interviews. The Impact of Event Scale assessed symptoms of posttraumatic stress. RESULTS: At five months 28% of hospitalized passengers, 24% of hospitalized drivers, and 24% of nonhospitalized drivers reported symptoms consistent with posttraumatic stress disorder. At 18 months, 23% of hospitalized passengers, 11% of hospitalized drivers, and 7% of nonhospitalized drivers reported significant levels of stress. CONCLUSIONS: Strategies to prevent disabling sequelae of crashes must address the needs of hospitalized and nonhospitalized survivors.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychiatr Serv

Publication Date





402 - 404


Accidents, Traffic, Adolescent, Adult, Cohort Studies, Female, Hospitalization, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, New Zealand, Prevalence, Prospective Studies, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic, Survivors, Young Adult