PTSD as a Public Mental Health Priority

  • Patricia WatsonEmail author
Disaster Psychiatry: Trauma, PTSD, and Related Disorders (MJ Friedman, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Disaster Psychiatry: Trauma, PTSD, and Related Disorders


Purpose of Review

This article reviews recent evidence related to public health epidemiology and intervention for traumatic stress and PTSD. Recent evidence is presented regarding incidence of traumatic stress worldwide, as well as most frequent types of traumas, indicators of the public health burden of PTSD, and prevalence, predictors, and correlates of PTSD. Public health perspectives on intervention and treatment are delineated, and innovations in both psychosocial and psychopharmacological interventions are highlighted.

Recent Findings

PTSD has been associated with substantial medical and economic burden. Recent public health preventive innovations include integrated medical/behavioral health care, acute CBT and attention interventions, modifications to CBT protocols, use of novel and augmentative psychopharmacological agents, and use of technology.


Recent research regarding the scope and impact of traumatic stress, as well as prevention strategies for PTSD, have resulted in an improved understanding of its impact and more effective public health interventions.


Traumatic stress Public health PTSD Primary prevention Secondary prevention Tertiary prevention Treatment 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Veterans Affairs (116D)National Center for PTSD, Executive DivisionWhite River JunctionUSA

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