Post-traumatic stress after terrorist attack: Psychological reactions following the US embassy bombing in Nairobi - Naturalistic study

Journal Article

Background: Most studies of post-traumatic stress disorder following terrorist attacks are of small samples in industrialised nations and take place months or years after the incident. Aims: To describe reactions following the US embassy bombing in Nairobi and the characteristic features of and risk factors for post-traumatic stress symptoms in a large, non-Western sample soon after the attack. Method: A self-report questionnaire which assessed potential risk factors and identified symptoms matching DSM-IV criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder was answered by 2883 Kenyans, 1-3 months after the bombing. Results: Symptoms approximating to the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder occurred in 35%. Factors associated with post-traumatic stress included female gender, unmarried status, lack of college education, seeing the blast, injury, not recovering from injury, not confiding in a friend, bereavement and financial difficulty since the blast. Many other factors were not significant. Conclusions: Specific factors often cited to predict marked short-term post-traumatic stress were confirmed in this large, non-Western sample.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Njenga, FG; Nicholls, PJ; Nyamai, C; Kigamwa, P; Davidson, JRT

Published Date

  • 2004

Published In

  • British Journal of Psychiatry

Volume / Issue

  • 185 / OCT.

Start / End Page

  • 328 - 333

PubMed ID

  • 15458993

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1192/bjp.185.4.328