Terrorism’s psychologic effects and their implications for primary care policy, research, and education

  • David P. Eisenman
  • Bradley D. Stein
  • Terri L. Tanielian
  • Harold Alan Pincus
Health Policy


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, we discuss the psychologic consequences of a CBRN attack and PCPs’ roles in responding to these consequences. Second, we analyze these roles in light of the known barriers to delivering high-quality, primary care-based, mental health care. Third, we 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.

Key words

terrorism bioterrorism mental health primary care 


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • David P. Eisenman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bradley D. Stein
    • 3
    • 4
  • Terri L. Tanielian
    • 3
  • Harold Alan Pincus
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, Department of MedicineUCLALos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.RAND Corporation, Health Sciences ProgramSanta MonicaUSA
  3. 3.Mental and Behavioral HealthCenter for Domestic and International Health Security, RAND Corporation, Health Sciences ProgramSanta MonicaUSA
  4. 4.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical Center Senior Natural ScientistUSA
  6. 6.RAND Corporation, Health Sciences ProgramPittsburghUSA

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