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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
September 25, 2002

Psychological and Emotional Effects of the September 11 Attacks on the World Trade Center—Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, 2001

JAMA. 2002;288(12):1467-1468. doi:10.1001/jama.288.12.1467-JWR0925-5-1

MMWR. 2002;51:784-786

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To measure the psychological and emotional effects of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC), Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York added a terrorism module to their ongoing Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). This report summarizes the results of the survey, which suggest widespread psychological and emotional effects in all segments of the three states' populations. The findings underscore the importance of collaboration among public health professionals to address the physical and emotional needs of persons affected by the September 11 attacks.

BRFSS is a random-digit-dialed telephone survey of the noninstitutionalized U.S. population aged ≥18 years.1,2 The terrorism module consisted of 17 questions which asked respondents whether they were victims of the terrorist attacks, attended a memorial or funeral service after the attacks, were employed or missed work after the attacks, increased their consumption of tobacco and/or alcohol following the attacks, or watched more media coverage following the attacks. The survey was conducted during October 11–December 31. A total of 3,512 respondents completed the module in the three states (1,774 in Connecticut, 638 in New Jersey, and 1,100 in New York). SAS and SUDAAN were used in the analyses to account for the complex sampling design.