Posttraumatic stress and other health consequences of catastrophic avalanches: A 16-year follow-up of survivors.
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AuthorsThordardottir, Edda Bjork
Valdimarsdottir, Unnur Anna
Shipherd, Jillian C
MetadataShow full item record
CitationJ Anxiety Disord. 2015, 32:103-11
AbstractTo date, no study has investigated the effects of avalanches on survivor's health beyond the first years. The aim of this study was to examine long-term health status 16 years after exposure to avalanches using a matched cohort design. Mental health, sleep quality and somatic symptoms among avalanche survivors (n=286) and non-exposed controls (n=357) were examined. Results showed that 16% of survivors currently experience avalanche-specific PTSD symptoms (PDS score>14). In addition, survivors presented with increased risk of PTSD hyperarousal symptoms (>85th percentile) (aRR=1.83; 98.3% CI [1.23-2.74]); sleep-related problems (PSQI score>5) (aRR=1.34; 95% CI [1.05-1.70]); PTSD-related sleep disturbances (PSQI-A score≥4) (aRR=1.86; 95% CI [1.30-2.67]); musculoskeletal and nervous system problems (aRR 1.43; 99% CI 1.06-1.93) and gastrointestinal problems (aRR 2.16; 99% CI 1.21-3.86) compared to the unexposed group. Results highlight the need for treatment for long-term PTSD symptoms and sleep disruption in disaster communities.
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RightsArchived with thanks to Journal of anxiety disorders
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