Programm 14 – 17

On July 14, 2016, in Nice, children and their families were attacked by “ISIL”. This is the second time in our country that children are victims of this organization after the attack on the Ozar Hotarah school in March, 2012. In Toulouse, four children were shot at point-blank range. In Nice, 86 deaths including 10 children, the youngest was 4 years old. The exact number of children involved is still difficult to assess exactly but over 100 were bereaved.

According to Benslama (2016) the murdered population is targeted because of what they are not because of what they’ve done. This is a major turning point, a step further in dehumanization and destructiveness. Nowadays, everything is in line with the observation that children are at the heart of violent acts. It is therefore important to protect by research actions (among others) their future.

On the night of July 14, 2016, the University Service of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (SUPEA) of Nice, with the support of the child psychiatry sectors of Alpes-Maritimes (from Menton to Antibes) immediately offer first aid to the people in demand. The Pediatric Hospitals of Nice CHU-Lenval, promoter of this study, is, indeed, located 200m from the beginning of the attack, on the “promenade des Anglais”.

Thus, since July 14, 2016, with the help of the national Emergency Medical-Psychological Units (CUMP), then the EPRUS services (Emergency Preparedness and Response Facility), and since 01.01.17 thanks to the means of the General Direction of Health, which allowed the opening of a center for evaluation and care of PTSD, the child psychiatry services worked tirelessly. Much of the work consisted in reorganizing the inner chaos of the victims and participating in rebuilding a way of living together after the disorder in which the whole of Nice society suddenly felt submerged.

From January 2017 to July 19, 2017, more than 150 people had already been received by our services: children and their families. The first statistics made from our data show a peak population between 9 and 12 years of age. To date, despite a latency period described around 6 months in the literature on the occurrence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), we continue to receive requests for new consultations for the occurrence of disorders (not yet identified or appearing), 15 to 20 per week.

To date, more than 2200 children from 0 to 18 years old have been seen by medical units. Among them, 24 babies less than 3 years including 6 born of pregnant women the night of July 14.

In the face of these alarming observations, a consortium of academics, child psychiatrists, public health researchers, neuroscientists and humanities scientists met to define the objectives and hypotheses for action research. Its main purpose is to quickly disseminate useful results for the scientific community and practitioners in the field in order to try to obtain reliable tools to deal with the risk of recurrence of such events in France and elsewhere in the world. This research program also aims to understand and analyze the incidence and diversity of psychopathologies, the biological and psychosocial mechanisms that lead to their occurrence, the protective factors, and that in the long term within the framework of a longitudinal and multidisciplinary study.

B/ Research Design

The core study « 14-7 Pédopsychiatrie et Epidémiologie » is a need in terms of public health and research. To date, children impacted by the Nice terrorist attack, could be the biggest cohort in Europe exposed to mass murder. A better understanding of their future, their development and the impact of therapeutics is a major challenge.

We present here, a collaborative and transdiciplinary project. Researcher from medical, public health, neurosciences and humanities field have contributed to develop this ambitious study.

The study “14-7 Child Psychiatry and Epidemiology”, focusing on child psychiatry, is the heart of the study. It brings all its practical utility to the project as well as its overall structure. It should allow by its magnitude to propose answers for the future of children who were victims of the Bastille day attack, as well as on the care organization. This study should make possible to produce the necessary and indispensable recommendations in this field.

This pedopsychiatric study, coordinated by Pr Florence Askenazy, director of the child psychiatry CoBTeK lab subgroup should also conduct to recommendations in terms of care after mass terrorist attack.

More than 2 000 children will be included in « 14-7 Pédopsychiatrie et Epidémiologie » study. They will be recruited on national, local file and following media call. The main objective is to follow each participant until his 25th birthday on psychological and social variables.