HealthDay News — Few trauma patients are assessed for or educated about the potential effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or acute stress disorder (ASD), according to a study published in the September/October issue of the Journal of Trauma Nursing.

Katherine E. Guess, MD, MPH, from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, and colleagues evaluated current levels of assessment and education relating to ASD and PTSD in US level 1 trauma centers. A web-based survey was administered to trauma program managers and trauma medical directors of 209 adult and 70 pediatric level 1 trauma centers.

The researchers found that 25% of adult centers and 36.17% of pediatric centers had an assessment protocol for PTSD, while 12.5% of adult centers and 27.66% of pediatric centers had an assessment protocol for ASD for use with trauma patients. Educational protocols were offered for use with trauma patients by 12.37% of adult centers and 20% of pediatric centers for PTSD; educational protocols were maintained for 7.22 and 17.5% of adult and pediatric centers, respectively, for ASD. Assessment and educational protocols targeting formal and informal caregivers were identified for fewer centers.

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“The impact of mental health issues among trauma patients and formal and informal caregivers is one that the health care industry can no longer afford to ignore,” the authors write.

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