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Stress test

Hugh Koch and colleagues analyse the impact of the litigation process on claimants

18 November 2014

Litigation stress has been described as: "Involvement in litigation which renders claimants susceptible to stressors and to influences that may lead to increased impairment, biased reportage, and retarded recovery". Research conducted by Dr Hugh Koch and colleagues in 2006 found that both lawyers and psychologists believe litigation stress has moderate to major effects on claimants' psychological symptoms. (For more information, see the article 'Litigation Stress' by Hugh Koch and others in Solicitors Journal, September 2006.) However, the full extent to which litigation is stressful and what factors of litigation exacerbate or mediate psychological symptoms has not been well studied.

Sources of stress

What do claimants find stressful? As part of their research, Dr Koch and colleagues undertook a survey of the views of 50 personal injury lawyers and 50 psychologists. In doing so, they identified four main stresses:

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