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Community Ment Health J. 2002 Jun;38(3):181-94; discussion 195-7.

Psychiatric disorders among victims of a courthouse shooting spree: a three-year follow-up study.

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Department of Social Work, University of Missouri-St Louis, 63121-4499, USA.


This study examined the longitudinal course of psychiatric sequelae of a mass shooting incident at a courthouse. A sample of 80 individuals was examined 6-8 weeks after the incident and 77 of these were reassessed one and three years later using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule/Disaster Supplement. Only 5% of the study sample met criteria for PTSD after this incident. Universal distress, however, was evident as 96% of the respondents reported PTSD symptoms and 75% described the incident as "very upsetting." The need for intervention among symptomatic individuals not meeting diagnostic criteria should not be discounted as subdiagnostic distress may warrant specific intervention.

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