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Research Article Open Access
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.