(HealthDay)—Few trauma patients are assessed for or educated about the potential effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or acute stress disorder (ASD), according to a study published in the September/October issue of the Journal of Trauma Nursing.

Katherine E. Guess, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, and colleagues evaluated current levels of assessment and education relating to ASD and PTSD in U.S. level 1 trauma centers. A web-based survey was administered to trauma program managers and trauma medical directors of 209 adult and 70 pediatric level 1 .

The researchers found that 25 percent of adult centers and 36.17 percent of pediatric centers had an assessment protocol for PTSD, while 12.5 percent of adult centers and 27.66 percent of pediatric centers had an assessment protocol for ASD for use with trauma patients. Educational protocols were offered for use with trauma patients by 12.37 percent of adult centers and 20 percent of pediatric centers for PTSD; educational protocols were maintained for 7.22 and 17.5 percent of adult and pediatric centers, respectively, for ASD. Assessment and educational protocols targeting formal and informal caregivers were identified for fewer centers.

"The impact of mental health issues among and formal and informal caregivers is one that the can no longer afford to ignore," the authors write.

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