ERIC Number: ED302774
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Mental Health Problems of Disaster Victims.
Lima, Bruno R.; And Others
The mental health needs of disaster victims remains a largely neglected area, possibly due to other pressing demands placed on available resources and to the difficulties in correctly detecting psychiatric cases by the general health worker. This study attempted to use a questionnaire suitable to primary care settings for the detection of probable psychiatric morbidity among 177 adult survivors of the disaster that destroyed the town of Armero, Colombia in November, 1985. The sample was initially screened with the Self-Reporting Questionnaire. A subgroup of 104 persons was subsequently interviewed by clinical psychiatrists to assess the specific nature of the psychiatric problems and to produce Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) diagnoses. The results of the screening and the psychiatric interviews were compared to evaluate the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive validity of the instrument. The results indicated that the instrument was highly sensitive (.87) and predictive of a positive result (.81), with a slightly lower score on specificity (.67). Incorporating this instrument in the training of the primary care worker for the detection of psychiatric morbidity among disaster victims could prove useful. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association (115th, New Orleans, LA, October 18-22, 1987).