1 Department of Psychology, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU2 National Center of Psychotraumatology, Department of Psychology, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU3 Department of Psychology, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU4 National Center of Psychotraumatology, Department of Psychology, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU
Despite, numerous annual bank robberies worldwide, research on the psychological sequelae of bank robberies is limited. We studied the prevalence of Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) (N = 458) and the prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (n = 378) in a Danish national questionnaire survey of bank employees exposed to robbery (response rate: 73.6 %). Several related factors were also investigated including prior traumatic exposure, anxiety, and general traumatic symptoms. The results were compared to a randomized control group of bank employees never exposed to robbery (N= 303). The estimated ASD rate was 11.1 % (n = 41), and the estimated PTSD rate was 6.2 % (n = 23). Both prevalence rates were limited by the avoidance diagnostic criteria. Preliminary results indicated that the control group scored significantly lower than the acute robbery group on general traumatization and anxiety but surprisingly significantly higher than the follow-up robbery group. The results are discussed in relation to existing research and the effect of other factors such as prior traumatic exposure. In conclusion bank robberies are a traumatizing event for the employees, especially when disregarding avoidance symptoms. This seems to be particularly pertinent in relation to the acute phrase following the bank robbery.