Psychological consequences of terrorist attacks: prevalence and predictors of mental health problems in Pakistani emergency responders.

Psychiatry research

PubMedID: 23068079

Razik S, Ehring T, Emmelkamp PM. Psychological consequences of terrorist attacks: prevalence and predictors of mental health problems in Pakistani emergency responders. Psychiatry Res. 2013;207(1-2):80-5.
Earlier research showing moderate to high prevalence rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health problems in emergency personnel has mostly been carried out in Western countries. Data from non-Western countries are largely lacking. The current study aimed to gather evidence on the prevalence of PTSD, anxiety, and depression in N=125 Pakistani emergency workers, most of whom (n=100; 80%) had been exposed to terrorist attacks. Fifteen percent of participants showed clinically relevant levels of PTSD, and 11-16% of participants reported heightened levels of anxiety or depression. Neither the experience of terrorist attacks per se nor the severity of the attack experienced was related to symptom severities. However, symptom levels of PTSD were related to a number of predictor variables, including subjective threat, peritraumatic dissociation, past traumas, rumination, and avoidant coping. Only a few variables were predictive of levels of anxiety and depression. In sum, a substantial subgroup of emergency workers experienced mental health problems, and prevalences were in the high range of those reported in earlier studies focusing on emergency personnel in Western countries.