Mental health following traumatic physical injury: An integrative literature review
A B S T R A C T
Aim: To investigate the state of knowledge on the relationship between physical trauma and mental health in patients admitted to hospital with traumatic physical injury.
Background: Adults who sustain traumatic physical injury can experience a range of mental health problems related to the injury and subsequent changes in physical health and function. However earlyscreening and identification of mental health problems after traumatic physical injury is inconsistent and not routine during the hospital admission process for the physically injured patient.
Integrative review methods were used. Data were sourced for the period 1995–2010 fromEMBASE, CINAHL, MEDLINE and PsycINFO and hand searching of key references. Abstracts were screened by 3 researchers against inclusion/exclusion criteria. Forty-one papers met the inclusion criteria. Data were retrieved, appraised for quality, analysed, and synthesised into 5 main categories.
Results: Forty-one primary research papers on the relationship between mental health and traumatic physical injury were reviewed. Studies showed that post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety were frequent sequelae associated with traumatic physical injury. However, these conditions were poorly identified and treated in the acute hospital phase despite their effect on physical health.
Conclusion: There is limited understanding of the experience of traumatic physical injury, particularly in relation to mental health. Greater translation of research findings to practice is needed in order to promote routine screening, early identification and referral to treatment for mental health problems in this patient group.
The mental health of the UK Armed Forces is a topic much debated by healthcare professionals, politicians and the media.While the current operations in Afghanistan, and the recent conflict in Iraq, are relevant to this debate, much of what is known about the effects of war upon the psyche still derives from the two World Wars. This paper will examine the historical and contemporary evidence about why it is that some Service personnel suffer psychological injuries during their military service and others do not. The paper will also consider some of the strategies that today’s Armed Forces have put in place to mitigate the effects of sending military personnel into danger.