Reactions to the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami A Preliminary Matching Study Comparing Nurses and Civilians
ABSTRACT The research of reactions to disasters is uncommon. Moreover, most studies target a specific population, whether civilians or professionals. The aim of this study was to compare the reactions of hospital personnel and civilians after exposure to a unique disaster that combines natural and nuclear disaster. A matching sample of nurses and civilians was compared using a brief questionnaire tapping into posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, subjective health, perceived coping, life satisfaction, and meaning in life. The results revealed that the nurses had a lower level of PTSD symptoms and higher self-rated health, life satisfaction, and perceived coping in comparison with the civilians. These results are discussed in light of work characteristics that include exposure to traumatic events as part of their work and coping that is partially based on training.
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ABSTRACT: To study the relationship of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to severity of the disaster experience. A sample of 1785 adult participants of an epidemiological study initiated in the immediate aftermath of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia were interviewed about 2 years following the disaster based on the NIMH DIS-Disaster Supplement. All 154 cases of pure PTSD were compared with 583 controls without symptoms satisfying psychiatric diagnoses of interest. PTSD cases included more persons from areas with the worst destruction. Having the highest level of education compared to lowest (OR 0.6 [95% CI 0.4-0.9]), being accompanied at the moment of the earthquake (OR 0.6 [95% CI 0.4-0.9]) and making new friends after the earthquake (OR 0.6 [95% CI 0.5-0.8]) were protective for PTSD. PTSD risk increased with the total amount of loss to the family (OR for highest level of loss 4.1 [95% CI 2.3-7.5]). Based on this large population sample, we believe that early support to survivors with high levels of loss may reduce PTSD following earthquakes.Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 08/2000; 102(1):58-64. DOI:10.1034/j.1600-0447.2000.102001058.x · 5.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Little is known of the specific effects of exposure to traumatic death, an important dimension of many disasters. This study examined acute and long-term intrusive and avoidant symptoms, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in disaster workers exposed to traumatic death after the USS Iowa gun turret explosion. Fifty-four volunteer body handlers were assessed at 1, 4, and 13 months. They were compared with 11 non-body handler disaster worker volunteers. The Impact of Events Scale, Zung Depression Scale, Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, and a multi-method assessment of PTSD were used. Intrusive and avoidant symptoms were elevated at 1, 4, and 13 months, and decreased over time. Probable PTSD was present in 11% at 1 month, 10% at 4 months, and 2% at 13 months. The frequency of depression was not increased. Single body handler disaster workers reported more avoidance (times 1 and 2) and somatization (time 1) than did married workers. Body handlers reported more intrusion, avoidance, hostility, and somatization at 1 month than did non-body handler volunteers. These results indicate that exposure to traumatic death increases intrusive and avoidant symptoms, hostility, somatization, and the risk of PTSD and that symptoms can persist for months.Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease 02/1995; 183(1):36-42. DOI:10.1097/00005053-199501000-00007 · 1.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A sample of 1089 Australian adults was selected for the longitudinal component of the Quake Impact Study, a 2-year, four-phase investigation of the psychosocial effects of the 1989 Newcastle earthquake. Of these, 845 (78%) completed a survey 6 months post-disaster as well as one or more of the three follow-up surveys. The phase 1 survey was used to construct dimensional indices of self-reported exposure to threat the disruption and also to classify subjects by their membership of five 'at risk' groups (the injured; the displaced; owners of damaged small businesses; helpers in threat and non-threat situations). Psychological morbidity was assessed at each phase using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and the Impact of Event Scale (IES). Psychological morbidity declined over time but tended to stabilize at about 12 months post-disaster for general morbidity (GHQ-12) and at about 18 months for trauma-related (IES) morbidity. Initial exposure to threat and/or disruption were significant predictors of psychological morbidity throughout the study and had superior predictive power to membership of the targeted 'at risk' groups. The degree of ongoing disruption and other life events since the earthquake were also significant predictors of morbidity. The injured reported the highest levels of distress, but there was a relative absence of morbidity among the helpers. Future disaster research should carefully assess the threat and disruption experiences of the survivors at the time of the event and monitor ongoing disruptions in the aftermath in order to target interventions more effectively.Psychological Medicine 02/1997; 27(1):167-78. DOI:10.1017/S0033291796004278 · 5.43 Impact Factor