Background. A robbery can be a traumatic and violent experience. It can possibly give psychological symptoms for a long time. In this study we examine psychological symptoms in subjects that have been robbed. There s not a lot of literature to be found on this subject, and Scandinavian studies are especially scarce.
Methods. The material was provided by SOSCON, a company specializing in crisis handling and intervention. 223 individuals were evaluated after 3-4 days, 6 months and 12 months. The PTSS-10 and 12 (Posttraumatic Symptom Scale) questionnaires were used. Subjects also answered questions about demographic factors, the incident, level of threat and satisfaction with the support system.
Results. 83% were threatened by weapon, and 52 % had felt that their life was in danger. Sum scores on PTSS-10 were moderate with 27.8, 23.4 and 24.0, dropping from 3-4 days. Women had significantly higher sum scores (33.1) on PTSS-10 than men (23.8) after three to four days. Sum scores for women dropped, while for men there was little change. Subjects 31 years or older had higher sum scores initially. Life threatened and physically rough handling gave higher sum scores.
Conclusion. The results show that a robbery can be a very threatening and frightening experience. The sum scores in general were moderate, but they did not drop to normal levels. Unexpectedly the number of subjects at risk for Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increased with time, maybe reflecting that it takes time to develop symptoms. How the incident was perceived seemed to be of greater importance for the level of symptoms than the actual risk.