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Enduring Consequences of London Bombings

APRIL 02, 2007

Dr Neil Greenberg and fellow researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's have had a new study on the psychological effects of the London Bombings published in the British Journal of Psychiatry (April issue).

Dr Neil Greenberg, lead author on the study commented: "Clearly terrorist attacks can have psychological effects on the general public.  Our study has enabled us to document the longer-term impact of terrorism on the perceptions and behaviour of Londoners and to assess medium-term changes in psychological and behavioural responses to terrorism and the risk factors for the persistence of these effects."

He continued: "We were struck by how difficult it was to predict which members of the general public would remain distressed following the bombings - many people from this group who were initially distressed got better without needing any help from psychiatrists or psychologists. Given this, it may be best to target our mental health resources at those people who we know are at increased risk of long-term distress: the people who were directly exposed to death or injury following the blasts."

This 7-month follow-up survey of Londoners after the July 7th 2005 bombings has found that 11% were still suffering from 'substantial stress'; 43% perceived that there was still a threat to themselves; 19% ‘reductions in travel because of the bombings’ persisted at a reduced.
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