summary: Children who are victims of severe physical violence, such as being stabbed or shot, are at significantly higher risk of developing PTSD as adults.
source: University of Rochester
A study of young adults who were victims of violent injuries during childhood found that levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were significantly higher in this group than in the general population.
The study — conducted by University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) researchers — surveyed 24 participants who were victims of gunshot, stabbing, or assault wounds as children between 2011 and 2020. Of the participants, 15 had gunshot wounds, eight had a stab wound and one had been assaulted.
The respondents were primarily adolescents at the time of infection, with an average age of 16.6 years. An average of six years passed from the initial infection to the time of contact with study respondents.
Ten (41.7%) of these respondents screened positive for possible PTSD, which is significantly higher than the 6.8% of the general population typically diagnosed with PTSD. Patients who were screened positively reported at least three of the following five traits:
- Nightmares or intrusive thoughts.
- avoiding thinking about or being in situations that remind them of the event(s);
- constantly feeling alert, alert, or distraught;
- feeling numb or disconnected from surrounding people, activities, or environment;
- Feelings of guilt or blaming yourself or others for the event or problems caused by the event.
In addition, 46% of respondents reported drug use in the past 30 days (other than alcohol or prescription drugs) compared to around 13% in the general population, while approximately 17% reported persistent symptoms related to their injury.
These lasting physical and mental effects underscore the need for hospitals, community organizations, and social support networks to work together to help monitor these patients long-term, according to lead author Nicole A. Wilson, MD, MD, assistant professor in the departments of surgery, pediatrics, and biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan. URMC.
“The big message we’re taking home is that we need to get better at following up on people who have these types of injuries, whether from gunshot wounds or other acts of violence, and we need to help them and provide resources,” she said.
During this study published in Journal of Pediatric SurgeryRespondents were offered resources to help with the physical and mental effects of their injuries. Nearly 63% accepted this offer, indicating that there is a high demand for support among this population.
“With any patient, there are a range of materials available to help, but sometimes we are limited as clinicians in that we can only control what happens when they are in the hospital,” Wilson said.
Victims of violence at UR Medicine Golisano Children’s Hospital (GCH) are referred to Pathways to Peace – a street-level team that provides support and non-violent alternatives to young people who turn to violence to settle conflicts or become involved in gangs and drugs – but that option often falls behind.
The main reason why patients would decline this option is not clear, according to Wilson, but she speculates that families may find this option intrusive, or that a long-term distrust of the healthcare system from historically marginalized communities prevents them from embracing the partnerships the hospital offers. .
“I think it would be beneficial if we had a broader range of interventions and resources that we could offer, as certain families may prefer a different service or approach,” Wilson said. “Additional funding, research, and time will help us develop these options.”
There is an effort to significantly expand this initial research with a follow-up collaboration between GCH and several children’s hospitals in the northern US and western New York. Wilson hopes that this collaboration will result in a more robust cohort of respondents, with more control groups, and eventually help these institutions secure long-term funding to continue studying this topic.
“Using this type of research more broadly, we can also look at the role of social determinants of health and socioeconomic conditions, and we can also try to provide funding for additional interventions,” Wilson said.
In addition, GCH’s recent designation as a Level 1 Trauma Center has given the Foundation a mandate to engage in expanded community partnerships to address youth gun violence and to educate other trauma centers.
Wilson believes that the continued availability of behavioral health monitoring resources can greatly help young people with the effects of the aftermath of violence.
“In an ideal world, there would be a mechanism where they could automatically see a counselor within three months,” she said.
About this research psychology news
author: Scott Hessel
source: University of Rochester
communication: Scott Hazel – University of Rochester
picture: The image is in the public domain
Original search: Closed access.
“Long-Term Functional, Psychological, Emotional, and Social Outcomes in Child Victims of Violence,” by Naomi S. Janbu-Nkwenkwa et al. Journal of Pediatric Surgery
Long-term functional, psychological, emotional, and social outcomes in child victims of violence
To assess the long-term functional, psychological, and emotional outcomes of individuals who survived violence-related injuries as children.
We retrospectively identified all pediatric patients (less than 18 years of age at the time of injury) who were treated for blunt trauma (gunshot, stab wound, or assault) at our institution (1/2011-12/2020). We then attempted prospectively to contact and survey, by telephone, all patients who had reached adulthood (age 18 at the time of the study) using 7 tools from the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) and Primary Care for PTSD. ) a screen.
Of the 270 identified patients, we attempted to contact 218 patients, 68 patients were contacted successfully, and 24 participated in the study. Of the participants, 15 (62.5%) had gunshot wounds, 8 (33.3%) were stabbed, and 1 (4.2%) were assaulted with a mean time to injury of 6.7 (3.4) years. Based on the PROMIS Scales, Global Physical Health (55.0 vs. 50.0, s = 0.013) and emotional support (55.4 vs. 50.0, s = 0.004) was better in the participants compared to the control population. However, a disproportionate number of participants reported drug use in the past 30 days (45.8 vs 13.0%; s < 0.001), 41.7% screened positive for PTSD, and 62.5% requested resources and/or referral for medical care.
Many individuals who have survived violent injuries continue to experience negative physical and mental outcomes as children into adulthood that require ongoing medical and psychological support. More resources are needed to better understand the long-term effects of violent injuries and to care for the complex needs of this population.