Background: The deplorable state of Nigerian roads, recklessness of some drivers, and the use of vehicles that are not road-worthy, among other factors, have led to an upsurge in the frequency of road traffic accidents (RTA). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may occur following exposure to a traumatic event such as RTA. In contrast to the burgeoning data on the physical sequelae of RTA, there is dearth of information on its psychological consequences. Research on this subject will bring to fore the magnitude of the problem and inform appropriate interventions targeted towards the affected population.
Aim: To determine the prevalence and correlates of PTSD among injured RTA patients in a Nigerian Orthopaedic Hospital.
Method: A cross-sectional study which consecutively recruited 168 RTA victims at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos. The PTSD module of MINI and socio-demographic questionnaires were administered. Injury Severity Scores (ISS) were also determined.
Results: The participants were predominantly males (69.0%), with age range of 18 to 64 years (mean age= 36.5± 7.6yrs). The prevalence of PTSD among the accident victims was 24.4%. Married patients were less likely to develop PTSD than those who were single (p=0.02). Patients who sustained RTA from motorcycles were more likely to have PTSD than those who had vehicular accidents (p=0.03). The presence of memory loss was also associated with PTSD (p=0.02).
Conclusion: PTSD is a common consequence of RTA in our environment. Incorporation of consultation-liaison psychiatric services into medical services directed towards RTA victims may facilitate the detection of PTSD and the institution of timely interventions.