Health & Spirit

Nearly half of men hospitalized with physical injuries develop depression or PTSD, study suggests

Aneri Pattani, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Health & Fitness

Nearly half of black men who come to a Philadelphia hospital with a physical injury -- anything from a sports accident to a gunshot wound -- develop depression or post traumatic stress disorder in the following months, a new study found.

The research, conducted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, was published in JAMA Surgery. Here are the highlights:


A growing body of research supports the idea that patients' mental health affects their physical outcomes. Some studies have shown that patients with depression have longer hospital stays even when they're admitted for physical illnesses. Others have shown that mental illness can slow recovery after surgery or other medical procedures.

People who have experienced a traumatic event, such as a car crash or a violent altercation, are particularly at risk of experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Yet a national survey found only 7% of trauma centers in U.S. hospitals routinely screen patients for PTSD.

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The research is based on 500 adult black men who were treated for injury at either the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania or Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. The study did not include men who had a current psychotic disorder, were hospitalized because of attempted suicide, or were currently receiving treatment for depression or PTSD.

Researchers recruited the men between January 2013 and October 2017, and followed each of them for three months after they left the hospital.

The participants self-reported their symptoms of depression and PTSD through surveys.


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