Article

Tsunami-Affected Scandinavian Tourists: Disaster Exposure and Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms

Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
Nordic journal of psychiatry (Impact Factor: 1.34). 02/2011; 65(1):9-15. DOI: 10.3109/08039481003786394
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Studies of short- and long-term mental effects of natural disasters have reported a high prevalence of post-traumatic stress. Less is known about disaster-exposed tourists repatriated to stable societies.
To examine the association between exposure to the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami and symptoms of post-traumatic stress in three Scandinavian tourist populations.
Postal survey of Norwegian, Danish and Swedish Southeast Asia tourists registered by the police when arriving at national airports. Follow-up time was 6 (Norway), 10 (Denmark) and 14 months (Sweden) post-disaster; 6772 individuals were included and categorized according to disaster exposure: danger exposed (caught or chased by the waves), non-danger exposed (other disaster-related stressors) and non-exposed. Outcome measures were the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Check List (PCL).
Danger exposed reported more post-traumatic stress than non-danger exposed, and the latter reported more symptoms than non-exposed (each P<0.001). Comparison of the Norwegian and Swedish data suggested that symptoms were attenuated at 14 months follow-up (P<0.001). Female gender and low education, but not age, predicted higher levels of symptoms.
Disaster-exposed tourists repatriated to unaffected home environments show long-term post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms related to the severity of exposure.

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    • "that study which looked at disaster workers , our participants were the direct target of the terrorist attack . The importance of education for threat and safety perception is congruent with the known protective effect of education on the development of post - disaster reactions in general ( e . g . Breslau , Davis , Andreski , & Peterson , 1991 ; Heir et al . , 2011 ) We have previously shown that leaders were less susceptible to PTSD than non - leaders ( Hansen et al . , 2013 ) . Our finding that employees with leadership responsibilities had lower perceived threat and higher perceived safety at work might be related to observations that leaders in normal situations have lower levels of the stress "
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    ABSTRACT: Background and objectives: Terrorism can heighten fears and undermine the feeling of safety. Little is known, however, about the factors that influence threat and safety perception after terrorism. The aim of the present study was to explore how proximity to terror and posttraumatic stress reactions are associated with perceived threat and safety after a workplace terrorist attack. Design and methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was administered to employees in 14 of 17 Norwegian ministries 9-10 months after the 2011 bombing of the government headquarters in Oslo (n = 3520). Results: About 198 of 1881 employees completing the survey were at work when the bomb exploded. Regression analysis showed that this high-exposed group had elevated perceived threat (β = 0.36; 95% CI = 0.19 to 0.53) and reduced perceived safety (β = -0.42; 95% CI = -0.62 to -0.23) compared to a reference group of employees not at work. After adjusting for posttraumatic stress reactions, however, proximity to the explosion no longer mattered, whereas posttraumatic stress was associated with both high perceived threat (β = 0.55; 95% CI = 0.48 to 0.63) and low perceived safety (β = -0.71; 95% CI, -0.80 to -0.63). Conclusion: Terror-exposed employees feel more threatened and less safe after a workplace terrorist attack, and this is closely linked to elevated levels of posttraumatic stress reactions.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Anxiety Stress & Coping
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    • "that study which looked at disaster workers , our participants were the direct target of the terrorist attack . The importance of education for threat and safety perception is congruent with the known protective effect of education on the development of post - disaster reactions in general ( e . g . Breslau , Davis , Andreski , & Peterson , 1991 ; Heir et al . , 2011 ) We have previously shown that leaders were less susceptible to PTSD than non - leaders ( Hansen et al . , 2013 ) . Our finding that employees with leadership responsibilities had lower perceived threat and higher perceived safety at work might be related to observations that leaders in normal situations have lower levels of the stress "

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Anxiety Stress & Coping
    • "that study which looked at disaster workers , our participants were the direct target of the terrorist attack . The importance of education for threat and safety perception is congruent with the known protective effect of education on the development of post - disaster reactions in general ( e . g . Breslau , Davis , Andreski , & Peterson , 1991 ; Heir et al . , 2011 ) We have previously shown that leaders were less susceptible to PTSD than non - leaders ( Hansen et al . , 2013 ) . Our finding that employees with leadership responsibilities had lower perceived threat and higher perceived safety at work might be related to observations that leaders in normal situations have lower levels of the stress "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT: Background and objectives: Terrorism can heighten fears and undermine the feeling of safety. Little is known, however, about the factors that influence threat and safety perception after terrorism. The aim of the present study was to explore how proximity to terror and posttraumatic stress reactions are associated with perceived threat and safety after a workplace terrorist attack. Design and methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was administered to employees in 14 of 17 Norwegian ministries 9-10 months after the 2011 bombing of the government headquarters in Oslo (N=3520). Results: 198 of 1881 employees completing the survey were at work when the bomb exploded. Regression analysis showed that this high-exposed group had elevated perceived threat (β=0.36; 95%CI, 0.19 to 0.53) and reduced perceived safety (β=-0.42; 95%CI, -0.62 to -0.23) compared to a reference group of employees not at work. After adjusting for posttraumatic stress reactions, however, proximity to the explosion no longer mattered, whereas posttraumatic stress was associated with both high perceived threat (β= 0.55; 95%CI, 0.48 to 0.63) and low perceived safety (β=-0.71; 95%CI, -0.80 to -0.63). Conclusion: Terror-exposed employees feel more threatened and less safe after a workplace terrorist attack, and this is closely linked to elevated levels of posttraumatic stress reactions. Anxiety, stress, and coping. 01/2015;
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