The treatment of acute trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder prevention

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 1994 Jun;17(2):385-91.


Although it is not yet clear that striking gains can be made toward the goal of preventing the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through early treatment, an initial step has been made by identification of a new category of disorder in DSM-IV, the acute stress disorder. Evidence exists that, at the least, it is possible to have a significant effect on the symptomatology generated by acute stress through the use of culturally endorsed rituals, psychological methods such as support and formal crisis intervention, focused psychotherapy, and psychopharmacology. Whether success on this front will ultimately affect the incidence and development of PTSD remains to be seen.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Humans
  • Psychotherapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / prevention & control*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology