Title

The aftermath of Hurricane Mitch: post traumatic stress disorder

Keywords

Hurricane Mitch -- 1998, Hurricanes -- Honduras, Post traumatic stress disorder -- Honduras

Abstract

Survivors of natural disaster may suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In developing nations, such as the Honduras, poverty and limited resources mean that disaster relief from outside the country is needed. Researchers (Crigger, Holcomb, and Weiss, 1999) interviewed survivors of Hurricane Mitch. They reported overwhelming feelings of helplessness/powerlessness among disaster survivors. They also raised the question of whether this was evidence of the presence of PTSD. The purpose of this retrospective analysis of symptoms reported by urban Hondurans in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch was to examine the possibility that these symptoms were related to PTSD. A sample of 345 clinic health forms was analyzed. The research questions were:

1) What were the chief complaints of urban Hondurans seen in the mission clinics over a 5-day period in March of 1999?

2) Do the urban Hondurans attribute their illness to the effects of Hurricane Mitch?

3) Are reported symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

4) What are the nursing implications for future post-disaster interventions in developing nations?

While the findings of this study are not statistically significant, the clinical significance cannot be ignored. Several symptoms which have been well documented to be associated with PTSD were reported with nearly twice the expected frequency by subjects who also reported being sick as a consequence of Hurricane Mitch. In PTSD, early identification and intervention, is directly related to the reduced rate of comorbidity and chronicity of the disorder.

Notes

This item is only available in print in the UCF Libraries. If this is your thesis or dissertation, you can help us make it available online for use by researchers around the world by downloading and filling out the Internet Distribution Consent Agreement. You may also contact the project coordinator Kerri Bottorff for more information.

Graduation Date

2001

Advisor

Holcomb, Lygia

Degree

Master of Science (M.S.)

College

College of Health and Public Affairs

Department

Nursing

Format

Print

Pages

48 p.

Language

English

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Identifier

DP0022674

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs; Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic

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