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J Forensic Sci. 2013 Sep;58(5):1388-92. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.12178. Epub 2013 Jul 3.

Posttraumatic stress disorder: protective and risk factors in 18 survivors of a plane crash.

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  • 1Section of Criminology and Forensic Psychiatry, University of Bari, P.zza G. Cesare, 70124, Bari, Italy.


The aim of this study is to identify protective and risk factors related to the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on a sample of survivors from a single plane crash. Eighteen survivors were examined 6 months following the event. The subjects all underwent psychiatric interviews, Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale structured interviews, personality and cognitive tests. Only 38.9% of them presented with all of the symptoms of PTSD; 22.2% showed no symptoms for PTSD; remaining survivors exhibited emotional/affective symptoms related to the event. In addition to the severity of the traumatic event itself, other risk factors identified were the loss of a relative, the manifestation of depressive symptoms, and the severity of physical injuries sustained. Low levels of hostility and high levels of self-efficacy represented protective factors against developing PTSD.

© 2013 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.


air disaster; forensic science; posttraumatic stress disorder; protective factors; risk factors; survivors

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