The aftermath of Hurricane Mitch: post traumatic stress disorder
Hurricane Mitch -- 1998, Hurricanes -- Honduras, Post traumatic stress disorder -- Honduras
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.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs; Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic
Barnard, Joy A., "The aftermath of Hurricane Mitch: post traumatic stress disorder" (2001). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 1105.