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Psychiatric disorders and accidental injury

Authors
Journal
Clinical Psychology Review
0272-7358
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
16
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0272-7358(96)00007-4
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Studies that have examined the relationship between psychiatric disorders and burn injuries, traffic accidents, and general accidents are reviewed. The prevalence of psychiatric disorders in accident victims has been found to be greater than estimates for the general population. However, not all psychiatric disorders appear to carry an increased degree of accident vulnerability. Personality disorders and alcohol abuse are seen in elevated numbers in accident victims, whereas anxiety and depressive disorders are not seen to be more prevalent than in the general population. Mechanisms through which certain psychiatric disorders may lead to an increased accident vulnerability are discussed. Characteristics of antisocial personality disorder and alcoholism may render a person particularly vulnerable to experiencing an accident, as may maladaptive ways of dealing with stress, such as the tendency to use emotion-focused coping. Evidence also indicates that once an accidental injury has been sustained, people with psychiatric disorders are likely to have a longer period of recovery.

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