Disaster mental health workers responding to Ground Zero: one year later

Article (PDF Available)inJournal of Traumatic Stress 21(2):227-30 · April 2008with24 Reads
DOI: 10.1002/jts.20311 · Source: PubMed
The current study examined anniversary reactions in mental health disaster relief workers following traumatic exposure at the site of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. Despite relatively low levels of symptom reporting, workers endorsed an increase in both negative mood symptoms and functional impairment at the one-year anniversary of their traumatic exposure (compared to 6 months postexposure). For those individuals who met at least partial criteria for PTSD immediately following exposure, overall self-reported PTSD symptoms tended to increase from 6 to 12 months. This tendency resulted specifically from an increase in hyperarousal symptoms. Although few endorsed symptoms at clinical levels, our results demonstrate that disaster relief workers may experience an increase in symptomatology at the anniversary of their traumatic exposure.
    • "Therefore, geriatric sample bias was likely to affect the outcome trend. Third, the mental health responses of this disaster might have been slightly higher due to the one year anniversary reactions [42]. Fourth, since IES-R is a self-response questionnaire to determine the risk of PTSD symptoms, the results do not indicate the diagnosis of PTSD, rather, the risk for PTSD. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective This study investigated post-traumatic stress symptoms in relation to the population affected by the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, one year after the disaster. Additionally, we investigated social factors, such as forced displacement, which we hypothesize contributed to the high prevalence of post-traumatic stress. Finally, we report of written narratives that were collected from the impacted population. Design and Settings Using the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), questionnaires were sent to 2,011 households of those displaced from Fukushima prefecture living temporarily in Saitama prefecture. Of the 490 replies; 350 met the criteria for inclusion in the study. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to examine several characteristics and variables of social factors as predictors of probable post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. Results The mean score of IES-R was 36.15±21.55, with 59.4% having scores of 30 or higher, thus indicating a probable PTSD. No significant differences in percentages of high-risk subjects were found among sex, age, evacuation area, housing damages, tsunami affected, family split-up, and acquaintance support. By the result of multiple logistic regression analysis, the significant predictors of probable PTSD were chronic physical diseases (OR = 1.97), chronic mental diseases (OR = 6.25), worries about livelihood (OR = 2.27), lost jobs (OR = 1.71), lost social ties (OR = 2.27), and concerns about compensation (OR = 3.74). Conclusion Although there are limitations in assuming a diagnosis of PTSD based on self-report IES-R, our findings indicate that there was a high-risk of PTSD strongly related to the nuclear disaster and its consequent evacuation and displacement. Therefore, recovery efforts must focus not only on medical and psychological treatment alone, but also on social and economic issues related to the displacement, as well.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2016
    • "Anxiety, Stress, & CopingChildren who experienced high exposure to Hurricane Katrina without high ECV were most at risk for increased PTS symptoms upon exposure to Hurricane Gustav. Consistent with previous research (Assanangkornchai et al., 2007; Daly et al., 2008), children who had high exposure to the previous disaster were most affected by the anniversary. For these children, exposure to Hurricane Gustav may have served as a trauma reminder and triggered anniversary reactions. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the relationship between exposure to Hurricane Gustav and distress among 122 children (ages 7-12) to determine whether that relationship was moderated by prior experiences with Hurricane Katrina and exposure to community violence (ECV). Measures of hurricane experiences, ECV, posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms, and depression were administered. Assessments occurred after the third anniversary of Katrina, which coincided with the landfall of Gustav. Results indicated that the relation between exposure to Gustav and PTS was moderated by prior experiences. There was a positive association between Gustav exposure and PTS for children who experienced high Katrina exposure and low ECV, with a similar trend for children with high ECV and low Katrina exposure. There was no relationship between Gustav exposure and PTS for children with low Katrina and low ECV or for children with high Katrina and high ECV. The relationship between exposure to Gustav and depression was not moderated by children's prior experience. However, there was a relationship between Katrina exposure and depression for children with high ECV. Results suggest that prior trauma may amplify the relationship between hurricane exposure and distress, but children with high cumulative trauma may remain highly symptomatic regardless of disaster exposure.
    Article · Mar 2010
    • "It is likely impossible to test this reasoning directly, but a cursory discussion of the psychological landscape in Caribbean First is a problem with disaster psychiatry. All Caribbean islands are affected by natural disasters in the form of floods and hurricanes as well as man-made disasters like crime and violence; however, the mental health system is not set up to deal with the resultant post traumatic stress-related disorders (Baker-Henningham, Meeks-Gardner, Chang, & Walker, 2009; Daly, et al., 2008). For example, the Jamaican government estimates that 29% of the population aged 15-74 suffer from some kind of PTSD-related diagnosis (Saunders, 2008) which is significantly higher than prevalences observed in immigrants to the US (Williams, et al., 2007). "
    Article · Jan 2010 · Anxiety, stress, and coping
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