Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Risk factors for psychological and physical health problems after a man-made disaster: Prospective study

  • Anja J. E. Dirkzwager (a1), Linda Grievink (a2), Peter G. van der Velden (a3) and C. Joris Yzermans (a4)
Abstract
Background

There are few prospective studies on risk factors for health problems after disasters in which actual pre-disaster health data are available.

Aims

To examine whether survivors' personal characteristics, and pre-disaster psychological problems, and disaster-related variables, are related to their post-disaster health.

Method

Two studies were combined: a longitudinal survey using the electronic medical records of survivors' general practitioners (GPs), from 1 year before to 1 year after the disaster, and a survey in which questionnaires were filled in by survivors, 3 weeks and 18 months after the disaster. Data from both surveys and the electronic medical records were available for 994 survivors.

Results

After adjustment for demographic and disaster-related variables, pre-existing psychological problems were significantly associated with post-disaster self-reported health problems and post-disaster problems presented to the GP. This association was found for both psychological and physical post-disaster problems.

Conclusions

In trying to prevent long-term health consequences after disaster, early attention to survivors with pre-existing psychological problems, and to those survivors who are forced to relocate or are exposed to many stressors during the disaster, appears appropriate.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Risk factors for psychological and physical health problems after a man-made disaster
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Risk factors for psychological and physical health problems after a man-made disaster
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Risk factors for psychological and physical health problems after a man-made disaster
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr A. J. E. Dirkzwager, NIVEL, P.O. Box 1568, 3500 BN Utrecht, The Netherlands. Tel.: +31 30 2729781; fax: +31 30 2729729; email: a.dirkzwager@nivel.nl
Footnotes
Hide All

Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Aaronson, N. K., Muller, M., Cohen, P. D., et al (1998) Translation, validation, and norming of the Dutch language version of the SF–36 Health Survey in community and chronic disease populations. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 51, 10551068.
American Psychiatric Association (1987) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd edn, revised) (DSM–III–R). Washington, DC: APA.
Arrindell, W. A. & Ettema, J. H. M. (1986) SCL–90 Handleiding [SCL–90 Manual]. Lisse, The Netherlands: Swets & Zeitlinger.
Asarnow, J., Glynn, S., Pynoos, R. S., et al (1999) When the earth stops shaking: earthquake sequelae among children diagnosed for pre-earthquake psychopathology. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 38, 10161023.
Bravo, M., Rubio-Stipec, M., Canino, G. J., et al (1990) The psychological sequelae of disaster stress prospectively and retrospectively evaluated. American Journal of Community Psychology, 18, 661680.
Brewin, C. R., Andrews, B. & Valentine, J. D. (2000) Meta-analysis of risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder in trauma-exposed adults. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 748766.
Bromet, E. J., Havenaar, J. M., Gluzman, S. F., et al (2005) Psychological aftermath of the Lviv air show disaster: a prospective controlled study. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 112, 194200.
Canino, G., Bravo, M., Rubio-Stipec, M., et al (1990) The impact of disaster on mental health: prospective and retrospective analyses. International Journal of Mental Health, 19, 5169.
Dijkema, M., Grievink, L., Stellato, R., et al (2005) Determinants of response in a longitudinal health study following the firework disaster in Enschede, the Netherlands. European Journal of Epidemiology, 20, 839847.
Escobar, J. I., Canino, G., Rubio-Stipec, M., et al (1992) Somatic symptoms after a natural disaster: a prospective study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 149, 965967.
Galea, S., Vlahov, D., Tracy, M., et al (2004) Hispanic ethnicity and post-traumatic stress disorder after a disaster: evidence from a general population survey after September 11, 2001. Annals of Epidemiology, 14, 520531.
Galea, S., Nandi, A. & Vlahov, D. (2005) The epidemiology of posttraumatic stress disorder after disasters. Epidemiologic Reviews, 27, 7891.
Ginexi, E. M., Weish, K., Simmens, S. J., et al (2000) Natural disaster and depression: a prospective investigation of reactions to the 1993 Midwest floods. American Journal of Community Psychology, 28, 495518.
Gray, M. J., Litz, B. T. & Maguen, S. (2004) Acute psychological impact of disaster and large-scale trauma: limitations of traditional interventions and future practice recommendations. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 19, 6472.
Hull, A. M., Alexander, D. A. & Klein, S. (2002) Survivors of the Piper Alpha oil platform disaster: long-term follow-up study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 181, 433438.
Knight, B. G., Gatz, M., Heller, K., et al (2000) Age and emotional response to the Northridge earthquake: a longitudinal analysis. Psychology and Aging, 15, 627634.
La Greca, A. M., Silverman, W. K. & Wasserstein, S. B. (1998) Children's predisaster functioning as a predictor of posttraumatic stress following Hurricane Andrew. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 883892.
Lamberts, H. & Woods, M. (1987) International Classification of Primary Care. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Morgan, L., Scourfield, J., Williams, D., et al (2003) The Aberfan disaster: 33-year follow-up of survivors. British Journal of Psychiatry, 182, 532536.
Nolen-Hoeksma, S. & Morrow, J. (1991) A prospective study of depression and posttraumatic stress symptoms after a natural disaster: the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 115121.
Norris, F. H., Friedman, M. J., Watson, P. J., et al (2002) 60,000 disaster victims speak. Part I: an empirical review of the empirical literature, 1981–2001. Psychiatry, 65, 207239.
Ozer, E. J., Best, S. R., Lipsey, T. L., et al (2003) Predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder and symptoms in adults: a meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 5273.
Perilla, J. L., Norris, F. H. & Lavizzo, E. A. (2002) Ethnicity, culture, and disaster response: identifying and explaining ethnic differences in PTSD six months after hurricane Andrew. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 21, 2045.
Phifer, J. F. (1990) Psychological distress and somatic symptoms after natural disaster: differential vulnerability among older adults. Psychology and Aging, 5, 412420.
Reijneveld, S. A., Crone, M. R., Verhulst, F. C., et al (2003) The effect of a severe disaster on the mental health of adolescents: a controlled study. Lancet, 362, 691696.
Riad, J. & Norris, F. (1996) The influence of relocation on the environmental, social, and psychological stress experienced by disaster victims. Environment and Behavior, 28, 63182.
Roorda, J., van Stiphout, W. A. & Huijsman-Rubingh, R. (2004) Post-disaster health effects: strategies for investigation and data collection. Experiences from the Enschede firework disaster. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 58, 982987.
Van der Zee, K. I. & Sanderman, R. (1993) Het Meten van de Algemene Gezondheidstoestand met de RAND–36. Een Handleiding [Measuring general health with the RAND–36: a manual]. Groningen, The Netherlands: Noordelijk Centrum voor Gezondheidsvraagstukken.
Van Kamp, I., van der Velden, P. G., Stellato, R., et al (2005) Physical and mental health shortly after a disaster: first results from the Enschede firework disaster study. European Journal of Public Health. Advance access published on September 12, 2005; doi: 10.1093/eurpub/cki188.
Ware, J. E. & Sherbourne, C. D. (1992) The MOS 36-item short-form Health Survey (SF–36). I. Conceptual framework and item selection. Medical Care, 30, 473481.
World Health Organization (1992) ICD–10: International Statistical Classificaiton of Disorders and Related Health Problems. Vol. I. Geneva: WHO.
Yzermans, C. J., Donker, G. A., Kerssens, J. J., et al (2005) Health problems of victims before and after disaster: a longitudinal study in general practice. International Journal of Epidemiology, 34, 810819.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 54 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 113 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 2nd January 2018 - 25th May 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Risk factors for psychological and physical health problems after a man-made disaster: Prospective study

  • Anja J. E. Dirkzwager (a1), Linda Grievink (a2), Peter G. van der Velden (a3) and C. Joris Yzermans (a4)
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *