The development of a clinically useful tool for predicting the development of psychological disorder following injury

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Objectives.To identify factors significantly associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression at 3 months post-injury; to develop a generic model to predict the occurrence of PTSD, anxiety, and depression at 3 months post-injury; and to validate this model in a test data set of patients.Design.Prospective cohort study.Methods.Participants were 823 patients attending an emergency department (ED) following accidental injury. Baseline questionnaires were completed, with 1 and 3 months postal follow-ups. Predictor variables demonstrating significant associations with two of the three outcome measures (3-month HAD anxiety and depression scores and PTSD symptoms) were included in multivariate regression models for each outcome. Non-significant predictor variables were removed until all remaining independent variables made the most significant contribution to each of the three models. Models were validated using a test dataset.Results.Previous history of mental health problems, neuroticism score and having PTSD symptoms at 1 month predicted adverse outcomes at 3 months. When used on the test datasets, the areas under the receiver operating curve (ROC) curve for the models predicting outcomes at 3 months were: PTSD=0.91 (sensitivity=88.5%); anxiety=0.87 (sensitivity=93.7%); and depression=0.87 (sensitivity=96.7%).Conclusions.The final model performed moderately well across the three outcomes and may be useful clinically as a generic rule-out tool to identify those who will not require follow up, watchful waiting or intervention.

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