D. Amital, H. Amital, G. Shohat, Y. Soffer and Y. Bar-Dayan
Background: On 4 February 2008, two terrorists armed with suicide bombs arrived at the open market in the southern Israeli city of Dimona. One detonated his bomb at approximately 10:30 a.m. causing multiple casualties. Short-term emotional effects and acute stress reactions usually appear among survivors after such incidents.
Objectives: To compare the differences in emotions and in disturbances of daily life activities that emerge a couple of days following such an event and to identify patterns of stress development among resilient and low-resilient members of the population in Dimona and in the general population of Israel.
Methods: A telephone survey of two randomly selected representative samples of adults (428 Israeli residents and 250 Dimona residents) was conducted 2 days after the event.
Results: A higher prevalence of stress and fear and a lower prevalence of joy were reported among the population of Dimona compared to the general population in Israel (P < 0.05). Differences were also recorded when the population of Dimona was categorized by their personal degree of resilience (P < 0.05). A higher prevalence of disturbances in daily life activities and changes in leisure activity was found in the low-resilient population in Dimona (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that following a public terror event, self-reported low-resilient subjects have a higher prevalence of disturbances in daily life activities, as well as adverse emotional responses. These differences must be addressed by the relevant social service agencies for immediate public intervention