Posttraumatic stress disorder and work-related injury

Gordon J G Asmundson, G. Ron Norton, Marilee D. Allerdings, Peter J. Norton, Derrick K. Larsen

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161 Citations (Scopus)


The literature indicates a substantial overlap between chronic pain and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in individuals who sustain accidental injury. To date, however, there have been no studies of PTSD symptoms in individuals who experience work-related injury. Consequently, we assessed 139 consecutive injured workers using the Modified PTSD Symptom Scale, as well as a number of general measures of psychopathology. Most participants reported chronic pain and all were receiving workers compensation. Results indicated that 34.7% and 18.2% of the sample reported symptoms consistent with PTSD and partial PTSD, respectively. When PTSD symptom frequency and severity were considered criterion variables in multiple regression analysts, depression was found to be significantly associated with the former and anxiety sensitivity, social fears, and somatic focus with the later. Finally, these measures of general psychopathology correctly classified 78.6% of individuals with PTSD and 81.3% of those with no PTSD. These results suggest that a considerable proportion of injured workers display symptoms consistent with PTSD and that these symptoms are related to general negative affect. Implications, including the suggestion of clinical intake screening of PTSD in this population, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-69
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

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