Current and Future Developments in Law

Current and Future Developments in Law

Volume: 1

Human Rights Issues and Vulnerable Groups

This volume covers topics related to human rights issues and problems of people who are overwhelmed by hostile situations around them and are subsequently rendered vulnerable. The situations of ...
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Psychopathological Consequences of Terrorism: The Prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Victims of Terrorist Attacks

Pp. 164-180 (17)

Maria Paz García-Vera and Jesus Sanz


This chapter is aimed at reviewing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after terrorist attacks. The data and results of a meta-analysis by DiMaggio and Galea [1] were reviewed and its conclusions were qualified, upgraded and extended with the results from new studies and new analyses. After terrorist attacks, 18-40% of direct victims will develop PTSD, whereas the percentage of indirect victims with PTSD will be lower, but nonetheless above its habitual prevalence in the general population. At one year of terrorist attacks, a significant reduction of PTSD can be expected in the affected community and in the emergency and rescue personnel, but not in the injured victims and in the friends and relatives of the injured and mortal victims. The implications of these results for the psychological treatment of terrorism victims are discussed.


Mental health, Narrative literature review, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Terrorism, Victims.


Department of Personality, Assessment and Clinical Psychology, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain.