Can Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Be Prevented?

  • Tessa op den Buijs
Part of the NL ARMS book series (NLARMS)


This chapter gives an insight in the possibilities and limitations of the prevention of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). An elaboration upon the diagnosis, criteria, onset and prevalence demonstrates the enormous impact of PTSD. Prevalence rates vary between countries and with the intensity of missions, but are lower in non-US Western countries. The risk factors for PTSD are well documented, as well as relationships between PTSD and an individual’s psychological, biological, and social functioning. Less research is focused on protective factors for PTSD. Although resilience is an important protective factor for early prevention, current prevention strategies based on this concept are not very effective. The time frame after the trauma (golden hours) is important for applying psychological and pharmacological preventing strategies. It is not clear yet what kind of prevention will be effective in the future.


Posttraumatic stress disorder Trauma Combat exposure Early secondary prevention Risk factors 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser press and the authors 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Military SciencesNetherlands Defence AcademyBredaThe Netherlands

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