Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Acute and Long-Term Response to Trauma and Disaster

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Acute and Long-Term Response to Trauma and Disaster. Edited by Carol S. Fullerton, PhD, and Robert J. Ursano, MD.

American Psychiatric Press, 1997, 295 pages, $39.50.

Among the many edited books on traumatic stress and its consequences, Fullerton and Ursano's "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Acute and Long-Term Response to Trauma and Disaster" is of particular interest to Israeli readers, as it provides a rather extensive coverage of the acute response, a subject which is often neglected in other edited books. This condensed compilation of individual chapters, written by an array of internationals scholars, is composed of two main sections (sections II - the acute response, and section III - the prolonged response), which are prefaced and summarized by the editors' own chapters, introducing the issues to be discussed (section I) and providing a word of conclusion (section IV).

Interestingly, the book, despite its focused title, attempts to go beyond studies of PI SD and evaluates other responses to traumatization. Elie Karam's chapter on comorbidity of PTSD exemplifies this trend, providing a comprehensive review of the subject. The book also touches upon responses of those not directly exposed, such as spouses or significant others (Fullerton and Ursano's chapter in section II). In much of the same way, stressors that follow the trauma and dissociative responses are treated by renowned scholars in the area of study (Koopman, Classen and Spiegel). Finally, the book includes chapters on non-US traumata, such as war-related psychopathology in Kuwait, by the No gian Lars Weisaeth Interestingly enough, Weissaeth employs an analogy betwee the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq and tl at of Norway by the Nazis. Understand ably, Weissaeth is a pupil and follower o Leo Eitinger, who, following World II, established himself in Oslo, whe he pioneered studies of stress and trauma, well before the definition of PTSD.

The section on long-term respon es to trauma and disaster includes six chap ers in which, as in the previous section issues associated with prolonged PTSD rath than the usual re-statements about the disord er are approached. …