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Disaster Mental Health Services Review of Care for Older Persons After Disasters

  • Allison Gibson (a1), Jessica Walsh (a2) and Lisa M. Brown (a2)

As older persons make up an ever greater proportion of the world’s population, a range of concerns are being voiced by policy-makers, program managers, and care providers about best or optimal practices for serving this population’s needs during all stages of disasters. Given that age-related vulnerabilities are common in late life, this article describes existing systems of care in the United States for the provision of disaster mental health services. Second, it evaluates the evidence for disaster treatment interventions with this subgroup of the population. Third, it synthesizes the findings of recent studies focusing on screening, assessment, and treatment approaches. To advance our current system of care and to adequately respond to the mental health needs of older persons, it is advantageous to periodically review progress, identify current gaps and unmet needs, and describe opportunities for improvement. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018; 12: 366–372)

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to Allison Gibson, PhD, MSW, University of Kentucky, College of Social Work, 659 Patterson Office Tower, Lexington, KY 40506 (e-mail:
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Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
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  • EISSN: 1938-744X
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