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Tsunami-affected Scandinavian tourists: Disaster exposure and post-traumatic stress symptoms
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Ulleråker, University Hospital.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Ulleråker, University Hospital. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, National Center for Disaster Psychiatry.
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2011 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, ISSN 0803-9488, E-ISSN 1502-4725, Vol. 65, no 1, 9-15 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Studies of short- and long-term mental effects of natural disasters have reported a high prevalence of post-traumatic stress. Less is known about disaster-exposed tourists repatriated to stable societies. Aims: To examine the association between exposure to the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami and symptoms of post-traumatic stress in three Scandinavian tourist populations. Methods: Postal survey of Norwegian, Danish and Swedish Southeast Asia tourists registered by the police when arriving at national airports. Follow-up time was 6 (Norway), 10 (Denmark) and 14 months (Sweden) post-disaster; 6772 individuals were included and categorized according to disaster exposure: danger exposed (caught or chased by the waves), non-danger exposed (other disaster-related stressors) and non-exposed. Outcome measures were the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Check List (PCL). Results: Danger exposed reported more post-traumatic stress than non-danger exposed, and the latter reported more symptoms than non-exposed (each P<0.001). Comparison of the Norwegian and Swedish data suggested that symptoms were attenuated at 14 months follow-up (P<0.001). Female gender and low education, but not age, predicted higher levels of symptoms. Conclusions: Disaster-exposed tourists repatriated to unaffected home environments show long-term post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms related to the severity of exposure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 65, no 1, 9-15 p.
Keyword [en]
Natural disasters, Psychological distress, Stress disorders, Posttraumatic stress
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-149578DOI: 10.3109/08039481003786394ISI: 000286683100003PubMedID: 20429748OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-149578DiVA: diva2:405157
Available from: 2011-03-21 Created: 2011-03-21 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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Bergh-Johannesson, KerstinMichel, Per-Olof

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Psychiatry, Ulleråker, University HospitalNational Center for Disaster Psychiatry
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