Utilization of psychiatry services in the emergency department following a terror event in Israel

Ligat Shalev*, Aviv Avni, Oren Tene, Inbal Reuveni, Keren Avirame, Renana Eitan, Adam J. Rose

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In October 2023, Israel sustained a massive terror attack, with 1,300 people murdered, over 240 kidnapped, and millions exposed to the horrors. This study's aim is to examine the profile of patients arriving to the emergency department (ED) for psychiatric services during the month following the attack, compared to a similar period the year prior. In this cohort study, we compared patients arriving to the ED of a large general hospital in the center of Tel Aviv for psychiatric services during the month post-attack with the previous year using t-tests and chi-square exams. In 2023, 256 patients arrived in the ED for psychiatric evaluation and/or treatment, 46 % more than in 2022. Of these, 64 % were examined due to symptoms related to the terror attack. In 2023, significantly fewer patients had a prior psychiatric diagnosis (68% vs. 89 %). Significantly more patients were diagnosed with acute stress reaction or acute stress disorder in the ED, compared to almost no such diagnoses in 2022 (14 % and 43% vs. 0 % and 1 %). Major terror incidents profoundly influence psychiatric ED visits. Planning efforts for major emergencies should be adapted accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116059
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Sep 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024


  • Acute stress
  • Emergency setting
  • Hospital setting
  • Psychiatry
  • Terror attack


Dive into the research topics of 'Utilization of psychiatry services in the emergency department following a terror event in Israel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this