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J Trauma Inj : Journal of Trauma and Injury

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2 "Heather A. Vallier"
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Original Articles
Changes in interpersonal violence and utilization of trauma recovery services at an urban trauma center in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic: a retrospective, comparative study
Kevin Y. Zhu, Kristie J. Sun, Mary A. Breslin, Mark Kalina Jr., Tyler Moon, Ryan Furdock, Heather A. Vallier
J Trauma Inj. 2024;37(1):60-66.   Published online February 26, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.20408/jti.2023.0064
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Purpose
This study investigated changes in interpersonal violence and utilization of trauma recovery services during the COVID-19 pandemic. At an urban level I trauma center, trauma recovery services (TRS) provide education, counseling, peer support, and coordination of rehabilitation and recovery to address social and mental health needs. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted considerable changes in hospital services and increases in interpersonal victimization.
Methods
A retrospective analysis was conducted between September 6, 2018 and December 20, 2020 for 1,908 victim-of-crime patients, including 574 victims of interpersonal violence. Outcomes included length of stay associated with initial TRS presentation, number of subsequent emergency department visits, number of outpatient appointments, and utilization of specific specialties within the year following the initial traumatic event.
Results
Patients were primarily female (59.4%), single (80.1%), non-Hispanic (86.7%), and Black (59.2%). The mean age was 33.0 years, and 247 patients (49.2%) presented due to physical assault, 132 (26.3%) due to gunshot wounds, and 76 (15.1%) due to sexual assault. The perpetrators were primarily partners (27.9%) or strangers (23.3%). During the study period, 266 patients (mean, 14.9 patients per month) presented before the declaration of COVID-19 as a national emergency on March 13, 2020, while 236 patients (mean, 25.9 patients per month) presented afterward, representing a 74.6% increase in victim-of-crime patients treated. Interactions with TRS decreased during the COVID-19 period, with an average of 3.0 interactions per patient before COVID-19 versus 1.9 after emergency declaration (P<0.01). Similarly, reductions in length of stay were noted; the pre–COVID-19 average was 3.6 days, compared to 2.1 days post–COVID-19 (P=0.01).
Conclusions
While interpersonal violence increased, TRS interactions decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting interruption of services, COVID-19 precautions, and postponement/cancellation of elective visits. Future direction of hospital policy to enable resource and service delivery to this population, despite internal and external challenges, appears warranted.
Summary
Prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder in orthopedic trauma patients and a call to implement the Injured Trauma Survivor Screen as a prospective screening protocol in the United States
Victoria J. Nedder, Mary A. Breslin, Vanessa P. Ho, Heather A. Vallier
J Trauma Inj. 2024;37(1):67-73.   Published online February 23, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.20408/jti.2023.0068
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Purpose
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is prevalent and is associated with protracted recovery and worse outcomes after injury. This study compared PTSD prevalence using the PTSD checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) with the prevalence of PTSD risk using the Injured Trauma Survivor Screen (ITSS).
Methods
Adult trauma patients at a level I trauma center were screened with the PCL-5 (sample 1) at follow-up visits or using the ITSS as inpatients (sample 2).
Results
Sample 1 (n=285) had significantly fewer patients with gunshot wounds than sample 2 (n=45) (8.1% vs. 22.2%, P=0.003), nonsignificantly fewer patients with a fall from a height (17.2% vs. 28.9%, P=0.06), and similar numbers of patients with motor vehicle collision (40.7% vs. 37.8%, P=0.07). Screening was performed at a mean of 153.9 days following injury for sample 1 versus 7.1 days in sample 2. The mean age of the patients in sample 1 was 45.4 years, and the mean age of those in sample 2 was 46.1 years. The two samples had similar proportions of female patients (38.2% vs. 40.0%, P=0.80). The positive screening rate was 18.9% in sample 1 and 40.0% in sample 2 (P=0.001). For specific mechanisms, the positive rates were as follows: motor vehicle collisions, 17.2% in sample 1 and 17.6% in sample 2 (P=1.00); fall from height, 12.2% in sample 1 and 30.8% in sample 2 (P=0.20); and gunshot wounds, 39.1% in sample 1 and 80.0% in sample 2 (P=0.06).
Conclusions
The ITSS was obtained earlier than PCL-5 and may identify PTSD in more orthopedic trauma patients. Differences in the frequency of PTSD may also be related to the screening tool itself, or underlying patient risk factors, such as mechanism of injury, or mental or social health.
Summary

J Trauma Inj : Journal of Trauma and Injury