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Enduring consequences of terrorism: 7-month follow-up survey of reactions to the bombings in London on 7 July 2005

  • G. James Rubin (a1), Chris R. Brewin (a2), Neil Greenberg (a1), Jamie Hacker Hughes (a1), John Simpson (a3) and Simon Wessely (a4)...
Abstract
Background

Terrorist attacks can have psychological effects on the general public.

Aims

To assess the medium-term effects of the July 2005 London bombings on the general population in London and to identify risk factors for persistent effects.

Method

We telephoned 1010 Londoners 11–13 days after the bombings to assess stress levels, perceived threat and travel intentions. Seven months later, 574 respondents were contacted again and asked similar questions, and questions concerning altered perceptions of self and the world.

Results

‘Substantial stress' (11%), perceived threat to self (43%) and reductions in travel because of the bombings (19%) persisted at a reduced level; other perceived threats remained unchanged. A more negative world view was common. Other than degree of exposure to the bombings, there were no consistent predictors of which people with short-term reactions would develop persistent reactions.

Conclusions

A longer-term impact of terrorism on the perceptions and behaviour of Londoners was documented.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr G. James Rubin, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, Weston Education Centre (PO62), Cutcombe Road, London SE5 9RJ, UK. Email: grubin@iop.kcl.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
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  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
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Enduring consequences of terrorism: 7-month follow-up survey of reactions to the bombings in London on 7 July 2005

  • G. James Rubin (a1), Chris R. Brewin (a2), Neil Greenberg (a1), Jamie Hacker Hughes (a1), John Simpson (a3) and Simon Wessely (a4)...
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