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Terrorism and Mental Health in the Rural Midwest

  • Suzanne R. Hawley (a1), Elizabeth Ablah (a1), Gary C. Hawley (a1), David J. Cook (a2), Shirley A. Orr (a3) and Craig A. Molgaard (a1)...



Since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the amount of terrorism preparedness training has increased substantially. However, gaps continue to exist in training for the mental health casualties that result from such events. Responders must be aware of the mental health effects of terror-ism and how to prepare for and buffer these effects. However, the degree to which responders possess or value this knowledge has not been studied.


Multi-disciplinary terrorism preparedness training for healthcare professionals was conducted in Kansas in 2003. In order to assess knowledge and attitudes related to mental health preparedness training, post-test surveys were provided to 314 respondents 10 months after completion of the training. Respondents returned 197 completed surveys for an analysis response rate of 63%.


In general, the results indicated that respondents have knowledge of and value the importance of mental health preparedness issues. The respon-dents who reported greater knowledge or value of mental health preparedness also indicated significantly higher ability levels in nationally recognized bioterrorism competencies (p <0.001).


These results support the need for mental health components to be incorporated into terrorism preparedness training. Further studies to determine the most effective mental health preparedness training content and instruction modalities are needed.


Corresponding author

Suzanne R. Hawley, PhD, MPH Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, 1010 N. Kansas Wichita, KS 67214-3199, USA E-mail:


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Terrorism and Mental Health in the Rural Midwest

  • Suzanne R. Hawley (a1), Elizabeth Ablah (a1), Gary C. Hawley (a1), David J. Cook (a2), Shirley A. Orr (a3) and Craig A. Molgaard (a1)...


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