Intended for healthcare professionals


Post-traumatic stress disorder in doctors involved in the Omagh bombing

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 06 May 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1276
  1. Derek Summerfield, principal psychiatrist
  1. Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, London NW5 3EJ

    EDITOR—Firth-Cozens et al draw naive conclusions from their questionnaire survey of doctors involved in the Omagh bombing, which supposedly showed that 25% of them had post-traumatic stress disorder.1 In my clinical experience post-traumatic stress disorder models so lack precision in distinguishing between subjective distress and objective disorder that the vast majority of “cases” represent a pseudocondition.2 The tendency of trauma models to transform the social into the biomedical is particularly exposed in highly public events like this: if …

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