Five essential elements of immediate and mid-term mass trauma intervention: Empirical evidence

Stevan E. Hobfoll*, Patricia Watson, Carl C. Bell, Richard A. Bryant, Melissa J. Brymer, Matthew J. Friedman, Merle Friedman, Berthold P.R. Gersons, Joop T.V.M. De Jong, Christopher M. Layne, Shira Maguen, Yuval Neria, Ann E. Norwood, Robert S. Pynoos, Dori Reissman, Josef I. Ruzek, Arieh Y. Shalev, Zahava Solomon, Alan M. Steinberg, Robert J. Ursano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

962 Scopus citations


Given the devastation caused by disasters and mass violence, it is critical that intervention policy be based on the most updated research findings. However, to date, no evidence-based consensus has been reached supporting a clear set of recommendations for intervention during the immediate and the mid-term post mass trauma phases. Because it is unlikely that there will be evidence in the near or mid-term future from clinical trials that cover the diversity of disaster and mass violence circumstances, we assembled a worldwide panel of experts on the study and treatment of those exposed to disaster and mass violence to extrapolate from related fields of research, and to gain consensus on intervention principles. We identified five empirically supported intervention principles that should be used to guide and inform intervention and prevention efforts at the early to mid-term stages. These are promoting: 1) a sense of safety, 2) calming, 3) a sense of self- and community efficacy, 4) connectedness, and 5) hope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-315
Number of pages33
JournalPsychiatry (New York)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007


FundersFunder number
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
National Institute of Mental Health


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