Six years after the wave: Trajectories of posttraumatic stress following a natural disaster
2015 (English)In: Journal of Anxiety Disorders, ISSN 0887-6185, E-ISSN 1873-7897, Vol. 36, 15-24 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The characteristics of long-term trajectories of distress after disasters are unclear, since few studies include a comparison group. This study examines trajectories of recovery among survivors in comparison to individuals with indirect exposure.
Postal surveys were sent to Swedish tourists, repatriated from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami (n = 2268), at 1, 3, and 6 years after the tsunami to assess posttraumatic stress (PTS) and poor mental health. Items were used to ascertain high and moderate disaster exposure groups and an indirect exposure comparison group.
Long-term PTS trajectories were best characterized by a resilient (72.3%), a severe chronic (4.6%), a moderate chronic (11.2%) and a recovering (11.9%) trajectory. Trajectories reported higher levels of PTS than the comparison group. Exposure severity and bereavement were highly influential risk factors.
These findings have implications regarding anticipation of long-term psychological adjustment after natural disasters and need for interventions after a single traumatic event with few secondary stressors.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 36, 15-24 p.
Posttraumatic stress; PTSD; Trajectories; Natural disaster; Longitudinal study; Recovery; General mental health
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-263212DOI: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2015.07.007ISI: 000366226600003PubMedID: 26401968OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-263212DiVA: diva2:857318
FunderSwedish National Board of Health and Welfare, 44676/2012