In this study, we determined the long-term prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children and adolescents after accidental injury and gained insight into factors that may be associated with the occurrence of PTSD. In a prospective longitudinal study, we assessed diagnosed PTSD and clinically significant self-reported posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in 90 children (11–22 years of age, 60% boys), 2–4 years after their accident (mean number of months 32.9, SD 6.6). The outcome was compared to the first assessment 3 months after the accident in 147 children, 8–18 years of age. The prevalence of PTSD was 11.6% at first assessment and 11.4% at follow-up. Children with PTSD or PTSS reported significantly more permanent physical impairment than children without. Children who completed psychotherapy had no symptoms or low levels of symptoms at follow-up. Given the long-term prevalence of PTSD in children following accidents, we recommend systematic monitoring of injured children. The role of possible associated factors in long-term PTSS needs further study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-607
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of clinical psychology in medical settings
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Accidental injury
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Long term
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

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