Molly J. Hall, Ann E. Norwood, Robert J. Ursano, Carol S. Fullerton

Disclosures

Biosecur Bioterror. 2003;1(2) 

In This Article

Conclusion

Anticipating the psychological impact of bioterrorism raises many issues that go beyond traditional mental health roles and interventions. Managing the immediate psychological casualties and providing treatment for mental health disorders that may arise in the wake of an attack are important. Preparing the nation for terrorism is a larger task and demands an understanding of the public's psychological and behavioral reactions to this unique threat. Understanding the terror in terrorism and the contagion of fear in different circumstances will promote interventions that can be tailored to a specific incident. Human beings, institutions, and communities have vulnerabilities as well as adaptive capacities. In the event of bioterrorism, effective risk communication and risk management must address the intense emotional responses to an invisible, unpredictable, life-threatening enemy.

Based on topics introduced in this article, response planning must include the preparation of leaders, the media, and the medical and scientific communities to credibly engage the public to prevent panic, to encourage rapid restoration of community functioning, and to sustain the people's trust.

Comments

3090D553-9492-4563-8681-AD288FA52ACE
Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.

processing....