Terrorism's Psychologic Effects and Their Implications for Primary Care Policy, Research, and Education

Published in: Journal of General Internal Medicine, v. 20, no. 8, Aug. 2005, p. 772-776

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

by David Eisenman, Bradley D. Stein, Terri Tanielian, Harold Alan Pincus

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This paper examines primary care physicians' (PCP) roles in helping the nation prepare for, respond to, and recover from the psychologic consequences of chemical, biologic, radiologic, or nuclear (CBRN) terrorism. First, the authors discuss the psychologic consequences of a CBRN attack and PCPs' roles in responding to these consequences. Second, they analyze these roles in light of the known barriers to delivering high-quality, primary care based- mental health care. Third, the authors offer recommendations for mitigating these barriers and preparing PCPs to respond to the psychosocial consequences of a CBRN weapon. Importantly, our recommendations provide dual-use benefits to PCPs faced with the daily concerns of primary care mental health, including improved linkages and electronic connectivity with mental health, information technology, and decision support for providers, and needed education and research.

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