Background Injuries present a major burden to populations in developing countries. Despite major psychological distress have been found among injury survivors in developed settings, there has been a lack of literature on the mental health consequences among all types of injury in developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
Methods The Health, Economic and Long-term Social Impact of Injuries (HEALS) Study is a multi-country prospective longitudinal study currently underway. In Kenya, the study includes adult patients age 18 years or above who are hospitalised due to injury for at least one day in Kenyatta National Hospital. Eligible patients are being enrolled in the study until the sample size of 1000 patients is reached. Patients are interviewed in-person while in hospital, and followed up at 1, 2, and 4 months after hospital discharge through phone interviews. Distress symptoms severity is assessed using Hopkins Symptoms Checklist (HSCL-25) at baseline and follow-ups, and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms are assessed at follow-up interviews using PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5).
Results 320 patients have enrolled in the study and completed baseline interview, 246 patients completed first follow-up interview, and 119 respondents completed second follow-up interview. Preliminary total score of HSCL-25 is 1.18 (SD: 0.17) at baseline, 1.15 (SD: 0.18) at first follow-up, and 1.10 (SD: 0.14) at second follow-up interview. Exploratory factor analysis will be conducted to determine the underlying factor of distress. Latent growth mixture modelling will be to determine the latent construct of mental distress. Risk factors such as sex, age, type of injury, severity of injury, and previous exposure to traumatic experience will be assessed.
Conclusions Mental distress continues months after hospitalisation among some injury patients. This highlights the importance of screening and attending to the mental health of patients in recovery from their injury.
- Depression symptoms
- PTSD symptoms
- traumatic injury
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