On-line version ISSN 0379-8577
MASELESELE, Vhuhwavho M. and IDEMUDIA, Erhabor S.. The role of social support in the relationship between mental health and posttraumatic stress disorder amongst orthopaedic patients. Curationis [online]. 2013, vol.36, n.1, pp. 1-7. ISSN 0379-8577.
BACKGROUND: Some life-event experiences such as injuries in car accidents, gun shots and the like, can be life changing and traumatic. OBJECTIVES: The article investigated the relationship between mental health and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms after orthopaedic trauma, and attempted to understand whether social support moderates the relationship between mental health and PTSD. METHOD: A cross-sectional research model was used. Two hundred participants were selected using simple randomisation within a hospital complex in Gauteng, South Africa. The sample consisted of 110 men and 90 women ( x̄= 37.8 years, s.d. = 12.9 years). Data were collected using the Revised Civilian Mississippi Scale for PTSD, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), and the General Health Questionnaire version 28. RESULTS: The findings of the study indicated that there is a statistically significant relationship between mental health and PTSD after orthopaedic trauma, and a positive correlation between poor mental health and PTSD (r = 0.52, n = 200, p < 0.05). However, perceived social support did not moderate mental health or PTSD, indicating that perceived social support did not significantly influence mental health or PTSD, (MSPSS B = 0.07, p = 0.66). Those with high scores on social support had a lower regression coefficient (B = 0.19) for mental health and PTSD than those who reported low social support (B = 0.26). CONCLUSION: There is a significant relationship between mental health and PTSD of orthopaedic patients, and social support did not moderate the relationship between mental health and PTSD.