Ptsd Treatment Reduces Risk Of Trauma Recidivism In A Diverse Community At A Safety-net Hospital: A Propensity Score Analysis Of Data From A Level One Trauma Center

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Background: Physically-traumatic injuries result in PTSD for approximately 10% of Americans, and this rate is higher among individuals of color and those living in poverty. Individuals of color living in poverty experience lower access to PTSD and other mental health services. Untreated PTSD is associated with increased risk of trauma recidivism, but it is unknown if provision of treatment is actually associated with a subsequent reduction in recidivism risk. Methods: For this observational cross-sectional study, data were collected retrospectively from the Trauma Registry of a level one trauma center, safety-net hospital in New Orleans between 2018 and 2020. Receipt of outpatient PTSD treatment at this same hospital was evaluated via chart review of the electronic health record. Propensity score matching was used to balance confounding variables of trauma type (assault vs. non-assault), gender, and race. McNemar test and Cox proportional hazard model were used with the propensity-balanced dataset to assess differences in trauma recidivism according to PTSD treatment status. Results: Among 5916 trauma activations that occurred in the study period, 92 instances of recidivism occurred. 91 pairs were established after balancing with the propensity score. 1-year recidivism was 2.2% (n = 2) of all treated individuals versus 15.4% (n = 14) of non-treated individuals (p < 0.0001). The marginal risk from the Cox proportional hazard model demonstrated an 82% reduction in risk of recidivism (p = 0.02). Conclusions: This study demonstrated that mental health treatment can be used to reduce trauma recidivism. These data were shown among a high-risk population of disproportionately Black men living in a low-income community. Ensuring access to quality mental health care is one way to address the health disparities associated with physically-traumatic injuries.

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