What factors are associated with the maintenance of PTSD after a motor vehicle accident? The role of sex differences in a help-seeking population


To investigate potential sex differences in factors that are associated with chronic PTSD, data from 223 participants were examined using logistic regression analyses. Each participant had been involved in a serious motor vehicle accident (MVA), which had occurred at least 6 months earlier (range 6 mos-37 years). Although men and women did not differ in the rate of diagnosed PTSD, four variables were found to interact significantly with sex in the prediction of chronic PTSD: peritraumatic experiences of helplessness, danger, and the certainty that one would die during the MVA and lack of employment. Follow up analyses indicated that although the peritraumatic experience variables were statistically significant, no notable differences emerged in the odds ratios of men and of women. In contrast, men who were unemployed were 9.94 times more likely to be diagnosed with PTSD, relative to men who were employed, while unemployed women were 2.85 times more likely to be diagnosed with PTSD, relative to women who were employed. Results are discussed in light of the role of functional limitations and their impact on the maintenance of PTSD in men and women. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry