Original Article

European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 269-275

First online:

Characteristics of polytrauma patients with posttraumatic stress disorder in a level 1 trauma center

  • B. E. KreisAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Medisch Centrum Haaglanden Email author 
  • , N. J. Y. CastanoAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Vrije Universiteit
  • , W. E. TuinebreijerAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery–Traumatology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam
  • , L. C. A. HoogenboomAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Psychology, Medisch Centrum Haaglanden
  • , S. A. G. MeylaertsAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Medisch Centrum Haaglanden
  • , S. J. RhemrevAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Medisch Centrum Haaglanden

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The aims of this study were to determine if the severity of injury is related to the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in polytrauma patients and to review the personality traits of patients with PTSD.


During 2006 and 2007, 252 polytrauma patients were treated at the Medical Centre Haaglanden in The Hague, The Netherlands. Of the 174 survivors, 53 adult patients were traced and sent questionnaires. They were screened for PTSD and personality traits, coping styles, and negative cognitions, and their level of social support were assessed.


PTSD was demonstrated in 22.6% of the patients.


An increased level of neuroticism, negative cognitions regarding themselves, and active dealing were found to be significant predictors of PTSD. However, we found no relation between the injury severity score and the prevalence of PTSD


PTSD Polytrauma ISS Personality traits