Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder in worker's compensation patients attending a work rehabilitation program

Ellen S. Burgess, Russell Hibler, Donna Keegan, George S. Everly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological consequence of traumatic work-related hand injury. In the current study, we investigated this relationship by examining the prevalence of PTSD symptoms in 121 Worker's Compensation patients enrolled in a work rehabilitation program following a wide array of work-related injuries. Eighty-eight men and 33 women, ranging in age from 16 to 78 (M = 40.9, SD = 10.2), completed the Injury Adjustment Survey, a measure of PTSD symptoms, psychological/behavioral changes following injury, and desire for psychological treatment. We found that the majority of patients reported difficulties sleeping, a diminished sense of future, loss of interest, and increased anger. Twenty percent of patients endorsed symptoms from criteria B (reexperiencing the trauma), C (persistent avoidance or numbing), and D (increased arousal) for PTSD according to the DSM-IV. PTSD symptoms did not significantly relate to age, gender, location of injury, type of injury, seeing the injury occur, or length of time since injury. PTSD symptoms did significantly relate to psychological/behavioral changes or difficulties and the desire to seek psychological treatment. Discussion of the results proceeds from within a psychotraumatological framework. In general, our research confirmed that PTSD symptoms appear to be a clinically significant problem for patients suffering from a variety of work-related injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-39
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Rehabilitation and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • rehabilitation
  • work-related injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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