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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Acute and Long-Term Responses to Trauma and Disaster

Edited by Carol S. Fullerton, Ph.D., and Robert J. Ursano, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-380-8
  • Item #62380

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Trauma and disaster throw lives into chaos and fill people with the fear of loss, injury, and death. Although most individuals experience only transitory posttraumatic symptoms, others experience the effects of the disaster long after the traumatic event when new experiences remind them of the past.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Acute and Long-Term Responses to Trauma and Disaster provides clinicians, researchers, and policy makers with an examination of current advances in research and treatment by recognized experts at the cutting edge of innovation. This timely book incorporates DSM-IV criteria and the new diagnostic category acute stress disorder, which emphasizes the breadth of posttraumatic stress symptoms and disorders and the importance of distinguishing between acute and long-term responses to traumatic events. Individual chapters go beyond PTSD to examine other posttraumatic disorders and responses, the mechanisms of transmission of posttraumatic stress, and its effects on behavior and health in natural and societal disasters and traumas, including war. This volume pays particular attention to the array of psychiatric responses to trauma, including PTSD and the unfolding of illness and recovery over time. Posttraumatic responses are considered across individual, group, family, and community perspectives and from the vantage point of developmental systems from childhood to older adult life.



  • Introduction.

    The other side of chaos: understanding the patterns of posttraumatic responses.

    Acute Responses to Trauma and Disaster.

    Multiple stressors following a disaster and dissociative symptoms. Exposure to traumatic death in disaster and war. Posttraumatic responses in spouse/significant others of disaster workers. Comorbidity of posttraumatic stress disorder and depression. War-related psychopathology in Kuwait: an assessment of war-related mental health problems. Children of the storm: a study of school children and Hurricane Andrew.

    Long-Term Responses to Trauma and Disaster.

    Persistence of PTSD in former prisoners of war. Comorbidity of substance abuse and PTSD. Posttraumatic stress disorder and the risk of traumatic deaths among Vietnam veterans. Combat exposure and PTSD among homeless veterans of three wars. Acute to chronic: etiology and pathophysiology of PTSD—a biopsychological approach. Neurobiological alterations in PTSD: a review of the clinical literature.


    Trauma, time, and recovery. Index.


About the Authors

Carol S. Fullerton, Ph.D., is Associate Professor (Research) and Scientific Director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. She received the Meritorious Service Medal (1990) for her consultation and research to the Sioux City, Iowa, United plane crash of 1989 and the Exceptional Service Medal (1993) from USUHS for research and consultation on disaster and traumatic events. She is a Fellow of the American Orthopsychiatric Association and a Member of the American Psychological Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress studies.

Robert J. Ursano, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, School of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Chair of the APA Committee on Psychiatric Aspects of Disaster, and a member of the American College of Psychiatrists. Dr. Ursano has written more than 100 publications on the effects of trauma, war, and disaster.


Fullerton and Ursano's book is meant to be short, accessible, innovative, and comprehensive. . . . The book's style is very accessible, most chapters compile a lot of data in the form of comprehensive tables and extensive reference to the literature. . . .the book offers both a readable text and a resource, to be re-opened many times after its initial reading in quest of a specific reference or an ordinate summary of the literature. The detailed index (again, larger than in most edited books) facilitates the latter use of this very elegant volume.—Israel Journal of Psychiatry




Perhaps the most notable feature is the smooth and unfettered writing style of Fullerton and Ursano, who have clearly collaborated before and have found a unified voice. Both editors are renowned experts in the field of trauma and have written hundreds of publications on the effects of war, trauma, and disaster. A fine scholarly work, highly recommended for undergraduates through professionals.—Choice




Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Acute and Long-Term Responses to Trauma and Disaster, edited by Drs. Carol Fullerton and Robert Ursano, is an exciting, up-to-date volume written by experts. The authors present the latest in research findings and clinical directions for the treatment and understanding of PTSD and other psychiatric responses to trauma. This volume includes data from a diverse range of recent disasters well integrated with a comprehensive discussion of the human response to trauma. Any clinician who needs a comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of PTSD must read this volume.—Michael G. Wise, M.D., F.A.C.P., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, LA State Univ School of Med, Tulane School of Med, and Uniformed Services Univ of the Health Sci, F. Edward Herbert School of Med




Drs. Fullerton and Ursano, two internationally recognized authorities on PTSD, have assembled an outstanding multidisciplinary team of investigators and clinicians to enhance the field's understanding of both acute and long-term responses to trauma and disaster. This book is essential reading for mental health professionals who treat patients with PTSD. Fullerton and Ursano present state of the art knowledge of the effects of trauma and disasters on emotional well-being.—Robert E. Hales, M.D., M.B.A., Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Davis



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