Ethnic differences in posttraumatic stress disorder after musculoskeletal trauma

Allison E. Williams, Wade R. Smith, Adam J. Starr, Denise C. Webster, Ruby J. Martinez, Carol P. Vojir, Jurate A. Sakalys, Steven J. Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND:: Psychological distress is known to contribute to poor outcomes in orthopedic patients. Limited information exists concerning ethnic differences in psychological sequelae after musculoskeletal injury. This study examined ethnic variations in prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after musculoskeletal trauma. METHODS:: A secondary analysis was conducted using data collected for a study examining PTSD after musculoskeletal trauma. Two hundred eleven consecutive patients with musculoskeletal injuries were enrolled. Psychological status was assessed using the Revised Civilian Mississippi Scale for PTSD. A chart review was completed to gather demographic and injury information. Independent samples t tests, Fisherĝ€™s exact, Chi-square, and logistic regression analyses were performed to assess differences. RESULTS:: Ninety-six (45.5%) Hispanic and 115 (54.5%) non-Hispanic White adults participated. Few significant demographic or health differences were found. No significant differences were found regarding injury characteristics. Fisherĝ€™s exact tests indicated a higher prevalence of PTSD symptomatology among Hispanics than non-Hispanic Whites (p < 0.01). Additionally, U.S. born Hispanics were more likely than non-U.S. born Hispanics to have PTSD symptomatology (p ≤ 0.004). Odds ratios indicated that women (OR ≤ 2.2), persons with a psychiatric comorbidity (OR ≤ 5.1), Hispanics (OR ≤ 6.6), and persons born in the United States (OR ≤ 3.7) had an increased likelihood of PTSD symptomatology. CONCLUSIONS:: Results indicate an ethnic difference in prevalence of PTSD symptomatology after musculoskeletal injury. Hispanic participants were nearly seven times more likely to be positive for PTSD symptomatology. Furthermore, U.S. born Hispanic participants had a higher prevalence of PTSD symptomatology. Future research should explore factors contributing to these differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1054-1065
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Health disparities
  • Musculoskeletal trauma
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Psychological disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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