PTSD in victims of terroristic attacks – a comparison with the impact of other traumatic events on patients’ lives
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Department of Molecular Medicine and Development, Psychiatry Section, School of Medicine, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
Submission date: 2015-05-26
Final revision date: 2016-10-09
Acceptance date: 2016-10-09
Publication date: 2016-10-31
Corresponding author
Casolaro Ilaria   

AOUS Siena, Viale Mario Bracciu, 1, 53100 Siena, Italy
Psychiatr Pol 2016;50(5):907-921
To identify possible differences, in terms of duration and severity of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, between victims of terrorist attacks and subjects who underwent other types of traumatic events.

A sample of subjects suffering from PTSD was selected. After a clinical interview aimed at the collection of anamnestic data, CAPS to confirm the diagnosis of PTSD and DTS to assess frequency and severity of post-traumatic symptoms were administered. One-way ANOVA was used in order to compare the differences in the parameters analysed through the DTS scales and its clusters between the victims of terrorist attacks and patients undergone other traumatic events.

The duration of PTSD was 258 +/ – 144.9 months for people who underwent a terrorist attack and 41.6 +/ – 11.8 months for victims of other traumatic events. As regards the severity of the disorder, the total score of the DTS scale was 65.6 +/ – 26.9 in victims of terrorist attacks and 78.2 +/ – 28.2 in people who undergone other traumatic events. However, the difference was not statistically significant; Avoidance and Hypervigilance clusters showed an important statistical significance.

No significant differences are present in terms of severity, showing that PTSD is a disabling disorder regardless the type of event that triggers it; however, a significant difference in terms of duration of the disorder leads to reflec on the importance of an early diagnostic process aimed toward the victims of terrorism, in order to avoid the risk of chronicity and progression to other psychiatric disorders such as depression.

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