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<p>Integrated mental health approach includes addressing PTSD, alcohol, opioids, firearms, and suicidal ideation.</p>

More U.S. Trauma Centers Offering Screening, Intervention Programs

By Jonathan Springston, Editor, Relias Media

U.S. trauma centers are moving toward a comprehensive mental health treatment approach, offering screening and intervention programs for various dangerous conditions and scenarios, according to the results of a recent survey.

Researchers sent a survey to hundreds of Level I and Level II trauma centers across the United States to learn more about what screening and intervention protocols might exist for alcohol and drug use problems, PTSD symptoms, depression and suicidality, and firearm violence. A total of 322 centers returned responses.

The authors learned that screening and interventions are most common for alcohol as well as opioids and stimulants. More than 95% of respondents indicated their centers routinely screen and offer interventions for alcohol use problems among high-risk individuals. For opioids and stimulants, 82% and 78% of respondents, respectively, use at least one of three screening procedures also used for identifying high-risk alcohol drinkers.

Meanwhile, screening and intervention programs for other issues appear to exist, but much room remains for growth. For example, only 28% of respondents offer support services to PTSD patients. On a related note, 30% of respondents offer screening and interventions in the aftermath of firearm injuries (these patients can develop PTSD after the fact). However, 77.5% screen for suicidal ideation, and 38.3% screen for depression.

“Our series of national surveys document that the integration of screening, intervention, and referral procedures has advanced considerably over the past decade. The results of this investigation document that alcohol and suicide screening and intervention are common in U.S. trauma centers,” the authors concluded. “Future orchestrated clinical investigation and policy implementation could productively address screening and intervention procedures for other substances of abuse and highly prevalent conditions such as PTSD symptoms and firearm violence that afflict diverse patient populations presenting to U.S. trauma centers.”

For more on this and related subjects, be sure to read the latest issues of ED Management, Emergency Medicine Reports, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Reports, and Trauma Reports.