Healthcare provision and the psychological, somatic and social impact on people involved in the terror attacks in January 2015 in Paris: cohort study

Br J Psychiatry. 2018 Apr;212(4):207-214. doi: 10.1192/bjp.2017.63.


Background: Terrorist attacks occurred in Paris in January 2015. Aims To assess the mental health impact and the access to psychomedical care of people exposed to the attacks.

Method: We implemented an open-cohort design 6 and 18 months after the attacks. Exposed civilians and rescue workers were included according to the exposure criteria A for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in DSM-5. A face-to-face questionnaire conducted by trained psychologists was used to collect sociodemographic characteristics, exposure level, scores on psychometric scales, an international neuropsychiatric interview and access to care.

Results: Six months after the attacks, 18% of civilians reported symptoms of PTSD, 31% had anxiety disorders and 11% depression. Among rescue workers, 3% reported symptoms of PTSD and 14% anxiety disorders. During the 48 h following the attacks, 53.2% of civilian had access to psychomedical care v. 35% of rescue and police staff.

Conclusions: We found severe psychological consequences, even in people who were less exposed. Declaration of interest None.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders* / etiology
  • Anxiety Disorders* / therapy
  • Depressive Disorder* / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder* / etiology
  • Depressive Disorder* / therapy
  • Emergency Responders / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Paris / epidemiology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / etiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / therapy
  • Terrorism / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult