Table 2

Patterns of trajectories of people’s responses

Resilient responsesDepending on the nature of events, around 70% or more people are psychosocially resilient. They suffer distress, usually mild or moderate, that reduces in severity if they receive support they perceive as adequate.
Deteriorating responsesAround 10%–20% of people may experience stress that is initially of low severity, but which becomes more severe and/or associated with dysfunction over time. About half of this group may recover later while others develop chronic problems.
Initial high stress responsesAround 10% of people may have high levels of stress before and immediately after events. The symptoms, signs and dysfunction of about one-half may prove chronic, while others improve.
  • Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holders, Williams R and Kemp V