The psychological sequelae of maxillofacial trauma: a scoping review of the literature

Emma Walshaw, Richard Taylor, Jane Anderson, Paul Sexton, Jiten D. Parmar, Lachlan Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Managing the physical sequelae of facial trauma is routine for the maxillofacial surgeon. However, managing the psychological consequences is more challenging. The often violent mechanism of injury, changes in appearance, altered self-perception, and self-confidence can significantly impact daily life. This review summarises the literature regarding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and facial trauma, highlighting evidence to guide clinical practice. PubMed and MEDLINE were searched for relevant keywords and MeSH headings. Articles between 2000-2022 were independently reviewed by two authors. Articles were excluded if the full text was not available in English, did not relate to facial trauma, or was not related to PTSD/psychological sequelae. A total of 211 articles were retrieved. The most common reasons for exclusion were papers not reporting psychological outcomes (n = 68) or not relating to facial trauma (n = 35). Articles were sub-categorised to enable evaluation of key themes. Categories included children and adolescents, cross sectional, longitudinal studies, and interventional studies. Whilst there were potential confounders such as socioeconomic factors, overall, patients who had experienced facial trauma (regardless of the mechanism of injury) had an increased risk of PTSD and anxiety/depression. PTSD following facial injury is increasingly recognised as an important issue. A robust evidence base is desirable to inform clinical practice and provide holistic care to often vulnerable patients. Identifying those at increased risk of negative psychological sequelae is essential. We have appraised the literature relevant to OMFS trauma clinicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1303-1320
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number10
Early online date13 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


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