Objective: Every year 75,000 people in the United States obtain retained bullets or fragments after firearm injury. There is limited research on the psychological health effects of retained bullets or fragments. In this study, we aim to determine how retained bullets for firearm injury impacts the psychological wellbeing of survivors.
Methods: We conducted qualitative in-depth interviews with 24 survivors who had retained bullets or fragments in their body after firearm violence. These participants were recruited from Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, GA, which specializes in treatment of firearm injuries. We conducted a robust thematic analysis to identify psychological effects on survivors.
Results: Our findings show four elements of psychological wellbeing were influenced by retained bullet fragments, including: 1) Physical wellbeing 2) Emotional wellbeing 3) Social wellbeing 4) Occupational wellbeing. These elements are interconnected and coincide to amplify psychological impact on individuals with retained bullets or fragments.
Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of considering the psychological consequences of retained bullet fragments. Implications for this study include: educating clinicians about psychological impacts of retained bullets or fragments, counseling patients on bullet removal, and considering psychological wellbeing in the decision about whether to remove the retained bullets or fragments at index hospitalization and follow-up appointments.
 Author calculations based on data from Smith et al. (2018), CDC (2020) and Nee at al. (2021).
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Literature Review 9
Retained Bullets and Mental Health 10
Lead Toxicity from Retained Bullets 11
Migrating Bullets 12
Theories on Psychological Wellbeing 12
Experiencing and Recovering from Psychological Trauma 13
Student Contributions 16
Study Design 19
Study Population 20
Participant Recruitment 20
Data Collection 21
Data Analysis 21
Ethics Approval 22
Physical Wellbeing 24
Emotional Wellbeing 25
Social Wellbeing 28
Occupational Wellbeing 30
Coping Mechanisms 31
Key Findings 32
Developing a Model for Psychological Wellbeing after Trauma 34
Significance of Study for Clinical Practice 35
Public Health Implications 36
Public Health Implications 38
About this Master's Thesis
|Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor|
|Retained Bullets and Psychological Wellbeing ()||2021-05-03 22:23:01 -0400||