Scholes C, Turpin G, Mason S
Behav Res Ther 2007 Nov;45(11):2527-36
BACKGROUND: Patients attending accident and emergency (A&E) may develop long-term psychological difficulties. Psycho-education has been suggested to reduce the risk of post-injury disorders.
AIMS: We tested the efficacy of providing self-help information to a high-risk sample.
METHODS: A&E attenders were screened for acute stress disorder and randomised to two groups: patients (n=116) receiving a self-help booklet and those who did not (n=111). A sample of 'low' scorers was also included (n=120); they did not receive a booklet. Psychological assessments were completed at baseline (within 1 month post-injury) and 3 and 6 months post-injury.
RESULTS: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression decreased (p<0.001) across time but there were no group differences in these measures or quality of life. However, subjective ratings of the usefulness of the self-help booklet were very high.
CONCLUSIONS: This trial failed to support the efficacy of providing self-help information, as a preventative strategy to ameliorate PTSD.