Medical and socio-occupational predictive factors of psychological distress 5 years after a road accident: a prospective study

  • C. PélissierEmail author
  • E. Fort
  • L. Fontana
  • M. Hours
Original Paper



Psychosocial consequences of road accidents are a major clinical problem that incurs significant social, occupational, and economic costs. The purpose of our study was to assess medical and socio-occupational factors of psychological distress in the severely injured 5 years after a road accident.


A total of 691 of the 1168 subjects enrolled in a prospective cohort of road accident casualties (ESPARR cohort) responded to both standardized follow-up questionnaires at 1 and 5 years, assessing socio-occupational characteristics, physical and psychological sequelae, pain and perceived quality of life.


One quarter of participants exhibited psychological distress 5 years after the road accident; most of whom are women, with low educational level, and suffering from spinal lesions. After adjusting for several factors, psychological distress at 5 years was predicted by female gender and low educational level, and by several other factors observed 1 year after the road accident: poor self-reported quality of life, attention deficit and symptoms of anxiety.


Early-stage improvement in the screening and care of mental disorders in road accident casualties should help to reduce long-term psychological distress.


Psychosocial distress Road accident ESPARR cohort Predictive factors Long-term follow-up 



The authors would like to thank all those who assisted in this study: Nadia Baguena, Jean Yves Bar, Amélie Boulanger, Elodie Paquelet, Stuart Nash and Véronique Sotton for data collection; Irène Vergnes for database organization, Anne-Marie Bigot, Nathalie Demangel and Geneviève Boissier for subject database management; Amina Ndiaye, Blandine Gadegbeku and the Association for the Registry of Road Traffic Casualties in the Rhône Département (ARVAC) for their help in collecting medical data and for making the Registry database available; the Scientific Committee (Daniel Floret, François Chapuis, Jean Michel Mazaux, Jean Louis Martin and Jacques Gaucher); all the hospital staff who accepted the interviewers’ presence and referred patients; and the SAMU emergency ambulance teams who reported their emergency interventions.


This work was supported by the French Ministry of Equipment, Transport Housing, Tourism and SEA (Predit 3 Program “New Knowledge in the Field of Road Safety”: no. SU0400066), by the National Agency for Research (Program Predit “Safe, reliable and adapted transport” no. ANR-07-TSFA-007-01) and by the French Ministry of Health (Program PCRD 2003: PHRC-N03 and PCRD 2005: N051). The role of the funding sources was in the collection and the analysis of data.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Pélissier
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • E. Fort
    • 3
  • L. Fontana
    • 1
    • 4
  • M. Hours
    • 5
  1. 1.Univ Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon1, Ifsttar, Université Jean Monnet, UMRESTTE, UMR T_9405St EtienneFrance
  2. 2.Pole de Santé Publique, Service de Médecine et Santé au Travail, Hospices Civils de LyonCentre Hospitalier Lyon SudPierre-BéniteFrance
  3. 3.Univ Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon1, Ifsttar, UMRESTTE, UMR T_9405LyonFrance
  4. 4.Service de Santé au TravailCHU de Saint-EtienneSaint-Priest-en-JarezFrance
  5. 5.Univ Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon1, Ifsttar, UMRESTTE, UMR T_9405BronFrance

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