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359 Prevalence and predictors of psychological distress at 12 years post-injury
  1. Helen Owen1,
  2. Emma Wyeth1,
  3. Ari Samaranayaka2,
  4. Sarah Derrett1
  1. 1Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  2. 2Biostatistics Centre, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand


Background Injuries have detrimental impacts on mental health, even after physical recovery. In our Prospective Outcomes of Injury Study (POIS), 25% of participants, with a range of injury severities, experienced psychological distress three months post-injury; declining to 16% by 24 months. Internationally, studies of hospitalised patients found distress persisted beyond 24 months post-injury and remained higher than in the general population. This study aims to describe the prevalence of psychological distress 12 years post-injury, and investigate pre-injury and injury-related characteristics associated with long-term distress.

Methods POIS recruited 2856 New Zealanders injured between 2007 and 2009. Now, 12-years post-injury a further interview has been completed. The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6) was used to measure psychological distress outcomes. Data about a range of pre-injury and injury-related characteristics have previously been collected via earlier interviews or electronic injury-related data (e.g., hospitalisations, NISS).

Results Twelve years post-injury, 1543 people were re-interviewed (75% of eligible people); 12% reported psychological distress. Univariable analyses found socio-demographic factors (e.g., being older, education) were associated with reduced risk of psychological distress. Other pre-injury (e.g., inadequate income, mental/physical comorbidities) and post-injury factors (e.g., distress at 3-months) were associated with increased risk. Multivariable models are currently being developed.

Conclusion Clinically relevant distress persists long-term post-injury among adults with varying injury severities, types, and causes, and at higher prevalence than in the general population (7.9%).

Learning Outcomes Early identification of injured individuals at risk of long-term psychological distress indicates opportunities for timely interventions to improve outcomes.

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