Departmental Papers (SPP)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

February 2002


Population-based approaches to the primary prevention of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) focus on the prevention of the stressor itself. Policy decisions also consider ways to allocate resources to best reduce potential damage from traumatic stressors and to ameliorate any resulting harm. A balance between broad risk prevention approaches and narrower treatment and recovery strategies can redistribute the risk of exposure and lead to fewer cases. Understanding that PTSD and its costs affect not only individuals who seek care, but also many others whose lives overlap with these individuals as well as society as a whole, further informs and shapes prevention decisions.


Postprint version. Published in Journal of Traumatic Stress, Volume 15, Issue 1, February 2002, pages 3-7.
Publisher URL:

NOTE: At the time of publication, author Susan B. Sorenson was affiliated with the University of California. Currently (August 2007), she is a faculty member in the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.


policy, population, prevention, PTSD, risk, stressor, trauma



Date Posted: 15 August 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.