Acute Stress Disorder in Physical Assault Victims Visiting a Danish Emergency Ward

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The purpose of this article is to assess the prevalence of Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) following violent assault in victims who come to the emergency ward, and compare the effects with degrees of injury. Two hundred and fourteen victims of violence completed a questionnaire 1 to 2 weeks after the assault. Measures included the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire, the Trauma Symptom Checklist and the Crisis Support Scale. Results: Twenty-four percent met the full ASD diagnosis and 21% a subclinical ASD diagnosis. Childhood sexual and physical abuse and shock due to a traumatic event that happened to someone close increased the likelihood of ASD four to ten times. Feeling of security and ability to express feelings reduced the likelihood of ASD by one-quarter, while feeling let down by others and hopelessness increased the likelihood of ASD respectively 1.4 and 2.6 times.

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