The emotional impact of injury following an international terrorist incident

Betty Pfefferbaum, Carol S North, Brian W. Flynn, Robert J. Ursano, Gretchen McCoy, Robert DeMartino, Wayne E. Julian, Cedric E. Dumont, Harry C. Holloway, Ann E. Norwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Terrorism represents a major public health threat throughout the world. Bombings of the United States Embassies in East Africa in 1998 resulted in extensive physical and emotional casualties. Methods: This study examined posttraumatic stress reactions, worry, and feelings of safety in the workplace in the context of injury in a convenience sample of 21 individuals directly exposed to the bombing in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Eight months postbombing, participants completed a self-report instrument examining demographics, exposure, injury, initial reaction, posttraumatic stress, worry, and feelings of safety in the workplace. Descriptive statistics and multiple regression were used to analyze the data. The "Impact of Event Scale-Revised" measured current posttraumatic stress. Results: Report of injury predicted posttraumatic stress, intrusion, and arousal but not avoidance/numbing. Injury and intrusion were significant predictors of ongoing worry. Conclusions: Even relatively minor injury may be associated with ongoing posttraumatic stress and worry. The participants in the sample were all highly exposed which, along with the small sample size, may have limited the ability to establish other expected relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-280
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Reviews
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001


  • Injury
  • Posttraumatic stress
  • Terrorism
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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