Immediate psychological reactions in the emergency department following exposure to potentially traumatic events

Sara A. Freedman, Arieh Y. Shalev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Peri-traumatic reactions to potentially traumatic events are likely to play a part in the development of posttraumatic stress disorder. In addition they are the focus of psychological first aid. Most studies have retrospective data, sometimes gathered months after the event. This study reports on data collected in the Emergency Department following a traumatic event. Methods: Consecutive admissions to a Level I trauma center following motor vehicle accident or terror attacks were assessed for objective aspects of the event, peri-traumatic distress and dissociation, while still in the Emergency Department. Results: These show that different interventions are associated with different event types. Motor vehicle accidents appear to contain fewer objectively difficult aspects, and survivors report corresponding lower distress and dissociation. Conclusions: These data give preliminary evidence for levels of distress and dissociation found in the first hours following a traumatic event, following different event types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-744
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Mental Health
Volume18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Chevron Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Emergency department
  • Immediate psychological responses to trauma
  • PTSD

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