Perceptions of injustice after traumatic injury


Trost, Z., Agtarap, S., Scott, W., Driver, S., Guck, A., Roden-Forman, M. L., Reynolds, M., Forman, M.L., & Warren, A. M. (2015). Perceived injustice after traumatic injury: Associations with pain, psychological distress, and quality of life outcomes 12 months after injury. Rehabilitation Psychology, 60 (3), 213-221. 


In our work as rehabilitation psychologists, we strive to help a variety ofindividuals who are faced with challenges they did not choose for themselves. This article explores the perception of injustice after traumatic injury which, surprisingly, has limited research to date.   In this study, the impact of perceived injustice was examined in a unique sample of individuals admitted to a Level 1 trauma center with follow-up 12 months later. The results indirectly suggest that the magnitude of perceived injustice may be a mediator between trauma type (e..g, violent crime vs a fall or penetrating vs blunt trauma) and negative outcomes. Outcome variables included pain, depression, PTSD severity and health related quality of life. The authors offer a variety of hypothesis that are applicable for psychological interventions with individuals following traumatic injury in order to maximize their overall well-being even up to a year later. 

I PICKED THIS ARTICLE BECAUSE it appeared in our own Rehabilitation Psychology. The authors’ discussion section offers a nice variety of theoretical concepts that can serve as an excellent base for providing interventions to individuals prone toward perceived injustice following injury.

This month's Rehab Science Spotlight was chosen by Kier Bison, Ph.D. ABPP, Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation; Member of Div 22 Science Committee.