Associations of serious physical injuries with posttraumatic stress and depressive symptoms: a cross-sectional survey among university students in 26 countries

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Abstract

Background: Evidence of the relationship between serious physical injury and poor mental health among university students from low- and middle-income countries is limited. The aim of the study is to assess the association between serious physical injury and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depressive symptoms in university students from low- and middle-income countries. Methods: In a cross-sectional survey, 18,382 university students from 26 countries responded to a short screening scale for DSM-IV PTSD, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale as well as questions on injury and sociodemographics. Results: The overall prevalence of past 12-month serious physical injury was 24.7%. In adjusted logistic regression analysis, compared to having no past 12-month serious physical injury, having a past 12-month serious injury was associated with 1.35 (95% CI 1.18, 1.56) times higher odds for PTSD symptoms and 1.49 (95% CI 1.32, 1.67) times higher odds for depressive symptoms in university students. Conclusion: Compared to students who had not sustained a serious physical injury in the past 12 months, students with an injury had significantly higher PTSD and depressive symptoms. Mental health support of students who sustained physical injuries may prevent PTSD and depressive symptoms.

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Pengpid, S., & Peltzer, K. (2020). Associations of serious physical injuries with posttraumatic stress and depressive symptoms: a cross-sectional survey among university students in 26 countries. BMC Psychology, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-020-00501-6

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