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If a trauma patient is tachycardic, should we call for a counsellor?

Sutherland, A G, Senthilkumaran, S, Alexander, D A and Hutchison, J D 2016, If a trauma patient is tachycardic, should we call for a counsellor?, Scottish medical journal, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 26-31, doi: 10.1177/0036933015619315.

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Title If a trauma patient is tachycardic, should we call for a counsellor?
Author(s) Sutherland, A G
Senthilkumaran, S
Alexander, D A
Hutchison, J D
Journal name Scottish medical journal
Volume number 61
Issue number 1
Start page 26
End page 31
Total pages 6
Publisher Sage
Place of publication London, Eng
Publication date 2016-02
ISSN 0036-9330
Keyword(s) Trauma
outcomes
psychopathology
tachycardia
Summary BACKGROUND: It has been suggested in the literature that raised heart rate in the early period after trauma is associated with the development of post-traumatic psychopathology, but little account has been taken of the potential confounding effect of injury severity.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cohort of 154 patients, studied as part of a wider investigation of trauma outcomes, was included. Initial heart rate in the accident & emergency department, and injury severity score and new injury severity scores were recorded. Patients completed the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) as a measure of psychopathology at presentation and again at two- and six-month follow-up.

RESULTS: There was no relationship between psychopathology at presentation and initial heart rate or injury severity. Raised heart rate was associated with post-traumatic psychopathology at two months but not at six months. When the potential confounding effect of injury severity was controlled for, there was no independent correlation between heart rate and post-traumatic psychopathology. Injury severity score and new injury severity scores were strongly associated with GHQ-28 caseness.

CONCLUSION: Post-traumatic tachycardia is not associated with development of psychopathology, but injury severity is. Previous studies that have suggested a link between tachycardia and development of psychopathology are flawed because they have not considered the confounding effect of severity of injury.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/0036933015619315
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30080803

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Medicine
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