Posttraumatic stress disorder in elderly and younger adults after the 1988 earthquake in Armenia



This study was undertaken 1 1/2 years after the 1988 earthquake in Armenia to assess the frequency and severity of posttraumatic stress reactions among elderly and younger adult victims and to assess the relation of exposure, age, sex, and death of a family member to these reactions.


One hundred seventy-nine subjects of both sexes were evaluated with the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Reaction Index. A subgroup of 60 individuals were also assessed for PTSD with the DSM-III-R criteria.


The Marchioness disaster: preliminary report on psychological effects


The psychological after-effects on 27 survivors of the Marchioness riverboat disaster of 20 August 1989 are described. On measures of intrusive memories and psychological difficulties these subjects are significantly higher than population norms, and somewhat higher than psychiatric in-patient populations. Personality measures taken after the disaster show that neuroticism scores are very much higher than population norms, but personality measures were not correlated with distress.

Identification in the Lockerbie air disaster


In the aftermath of the Lockerbie air disaster, identification of the victims (plane occupants and local residents) was established by two primary methods: odontology and dactylography. Scottish law requires corroboration of evidence of identity, so both primary methods were used whenever possible, with further evidence occasionally derived from the matching of physical characteristics, personal effects and details from past medical records. Of the 270 victims, 253 were positively identified. Of these, 209 were identified with the aid of odontology.

Psychosocial research in traumatic stress: an update


This report presents an update of psychosocial research in the traumatic stress field, presenting an overview of recent studies in several areas: the epidemiology of traumatic events and of PTSD in the general adult population, other diagnoses associated with trauma exposure and PTSD, the course and longevity of PTSD symptomatology, and risk factors for the diagnosis. Other areas of increasing interest and focus are briefly noted.

The impact of the Amsterdam aircraft disaster on reported annoyance by aircraft noise and on psychiatric disorders



On 4 October 1992 a plane crashed on the south-eastern (SE) borough of Amsterdam. This study examines the effects of this disaster on the reported annoyance caused by aircraft noise and on psychiatric disorders measured by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), in an ongoing Health Interview Survey (HIS).


In the HIS 5092 people were interviewed; 1006 before the accident and 305 in the SE borough. Odds ratios (OR) were computed comparing the period before the disaster with the 8 months thereafter.


Patients with medically unexplained symptoms


Numerous patients in hospital medicine present with physical symptoms but can be given no substantive medical diagnosis. In this article we describe certain characteristics and management problems associated with this difficult group of patients and propose effective approaches to management.