Rapidly assessing trauma exposure and stress resilience following large-scale disasters

H. Stefan Bracha, MD, O. Joseph Bienvenu, MD, PhD
2005 Journal of Emergency Management  
The psychiatric diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has recently come under increased scrutiny by the psychiatric community. In a recent editorial about PTSD, 1 Nancy C. Andreasen, editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry, argued that the American Psychiatric Association should rethink its conceptualization of PTSD in the forthcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). Andreasen argues that the 1994 conceptualization is
more » ... . Specifically, it makes PTSD a less meaningful construct than when it was first formalized as a psychiatric diagnosis in 1980. According to Andreasen, since 1994, "the concept of PTSD took off like a rocket, and in ways that had not initially been anticipated" (p. 1321). The current criterion does not adequately account for individual resilience and differences in intensity and immediacy of stressors. One step toward remedying this problem may be the recently developed STRS and Resilience Checklist. (STRS is an acronym for shortness of breath, tremulousness, racing heart, and sweating.) The checklist may help to diminish the rates of postdisaster PTSD by making possible the early identification of PTSD predictors and ranking the screened individuals from those who are at the highest risk to those who are at the lowest risk. Post-traumatIc stress dIsorder as a dIagnosIs
doi:10.5055/jem.2005.0061 fatcat:ebdpbn64ubhg5cx43nalucveii