Television watching and the risk of incident probable posttraumatic stress disorder: A prospective evaluation

Kyle T. Bernstein, Jennifer Ahern, Melissa Tracy, Joseph A. Boscarino, David Vlahov, Sandro Galea

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The relation between viewing television coverage of a mass disaster and the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is poorly understood. A cohort of New Yorkers without baseline probable PTSD (N = 1787) was assessed 1 year following the September 11, 2001, attacks. The primary outcome was new-onset probable PTSD assessed through a validated scale, and the primary exposure was number of hours of September 11 anniversary news coverage viewed. A total of 99 (5.6%) of participants had developed probable PTSD at the 1-year follow-up. Watching 12 or more hours of September 11 attack anniversary news coverage was associated with a 3.4-fold increased risk of new-onset probable PTSD (p = 0.004). Exposure to television coverage of the September 11 anniversary was associated with new-onset probable PTSD among a cohort of New Yorkers with no probable PTSD at baseline.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)41-47
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
    Volume195
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 2007

    Keywords

    • Disaster
    • Media
    • PTSD
    • Television

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Psychiatry and Mental health

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