Recognition of the psychological effects of medical events continues to grow. While the most recent research on medical trauma, PTSD, and traumatic stress responses focuses on adult stroke patients, it nevertheless underscores the need for continued research on the psychological affects of medical trauma. The study from Columbia University Medical Center shows 1 in 4 stroke patients suffer from PTSD symptoms and younger patients were more likely to develop traumatic stress symptoms. Stroke patients cite constant vigilance for signs of the next stroke, avoidance of previously enjoyed activities, as well as anxiety. Further research, according to the authors, should focus on discovering more reliable rates of PTSD after medical traumas through better assessment and diagnosis. In addition, the authors state future research should determine if patients diagnosed with PTSD need additional or different treatment/ intervention methods to recover.
The rates of traumatic stress responses and experiences with the pediatric realm don't vary much from these adult studies. More research in and awareness of the psychological effects of medical trauma are also needed within pediatric medicine.
As a healthcare provider, do you see the signs and symptoms of traumatic stress in your patients? What are the most common symptoms?