Traumatic injury is the leading cause of death in people under the age of 50 and accounts for a substantial part of yearly medical care costs. In the year 2000 alone, 50 million injuries in the United States required medical treatment, costing $80.2 billion. The societal burden of traumatic injury is great. Costs for loss of productivity because of these injuries were $326 billion, four times the amount of acute medical care costs. Loss of life and physical disabilities contribute to these costs and so do the mental health effects leading to psychological disability account for a large part of the burden. Psychiatric disorders after traumatic injury are common. International studies found rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) between 17.5% and 42%, rates of ...

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