The Epidemiology of Acute Stress Disorder and Other Early Responses to Trauma in Adults


Book Section

© 2012 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Acute stress disorder (ASD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by exposure to a traumatic event followed by symptoms of re-experiencing, avoidance, hyper-arousal, peritraumatic dissociation, and impairment in functioning. ASD's time-limited duration (two days to one month) makes it distinct from but related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is diagnosed after one month. ASD's brief duration has contributed to a dearth of largescale, population-based studies. Smaller studies have sought to determine rates of ASD after specific events in select populations; others have focused on ASD's role in predicting PTSD. Much can be learned from existing epidemiological studies. ASD's prevalence varies from 3% in a population of accident victims to 59% in female sexual assault victims. Female gender is a key risk factor; marital status, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status have also been associated with ASD in some studies. Comorbidities include depressive and anxiety disorders and substance use disorders.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Biggs, QM; Guimond, JM; Fullerton, CS; Ursano, RJ; Gray, C; Goldenberg, M; Reissman, D; McCarroll, JE; Santiago, P; Tyler, MP

Published Date

  • November 21, 2012

Book Title

  • The Oxford Handbook of Traumatic Stress Disorders

International Standard Book Number 10 (ISBN-10)

  • 0195399064

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780195399066

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195399066.013.0006

Citation Source

  • Scopus