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Disaster Health

Louis Herns Marcelin, Toni Cela, James M Shultz
This article examines disaster preparedness and community responses to Hurricane Matthew in semi-urban and rural towns and villages in Grande-Anse, Haiti. Based on an ethnographic study conducted in the department of Grande-Anse one week after the hurricane made landfall in Haiti, the article focuses on the perspectives of citizens, community-based associations and local authorities in the affected areas. Sixty-three (63) interviews and 8 community meetings (focus groups) were conducted in 11 impacted sites in 8 communes...
2016: Disaster Health
James M Shultz, Toni Cela, Louis Herns Marcelin, Maria Espinola, Ilva Heitmann, Claudia Sanchez, Arielle Jean Pierre, Cheryl YunnShee Foo, Kip Thompson, Philip Klotzbach, Zelde Espinel, Andreas Rechkemmer
Background. Hurricane Matthew was the most powerful tropical cyclone of the 2016 Atlantic Basin season, bringing severe impacts to multiple nations including direct landfalls in Cuba, Haiti, Bahamas, and the United States. However, Haiti experienced the greatest loss of life and population disruption. Methods. An established trauma signature (TSIG) methodology was used to examine the psychological consequences of Hurricane Matthew in relation to the distinguishing features of this event. TSIG analyses described the exposures of Haitian citizens to the unique constellation of hazards associated with this tropical cyclone...
2016: Disaster Health
Silvia Lucia Gaviria, Renato D Alarcón, Maria Espinola, Diana Restrepo, Juliana Lotero, Dedsy Y Berbesi, Gloria Maria Sierra, Roberto Chaskel, Zelde Espinel, James M Shultz
Colombia, South America is currently transitioning to post-conflict status following 6 decades of armed conflict. The population has experienced extensive exposures to potentially traumatic events throughout the lifespan. Sources of trauma exposure include the prolonged armed insurgency, narco-trafficking violence, urban gang violence, violent actions of criminal bands, intra-familial violence, gender-based violence, and sex trafficking. Exposure to potentially traumatic events is related to a variety of psychiatric outcomes, in particular, posttraumatic stress disorder...
2016: Disaster Health
Andreas Rechkemmer, Ashley O'Connor, Abha Rai, Jessica L Decker Sparks, Pranietha Mudliar, James M Shultz
In the 21(st) century, global issues are increasingly characterized by inter-connectedness and complexity. Global environmental change, and climate change in particular, has become a powerful driver and catalyst of forced migration and internal displacement of people. Environmental migrants may far outnumber any other group of displaced people and refugees in the years to come. Deeper scientific integration, especially across the social sciences, is a prerequisite to tackle this issue.
2016: Disaster Health
Maria Espinola, James M Shultz, Zelde Espinel, Benjamin M Althouse, Janice L Cooper, Florence Baingana, Louis Herns Marcelin, Toni Cela, Sherry Towers, Laurie Mazurik, M Claire Greene, Alyssa Beck, Michelle Fredrickson, Andrew McLean, Andreas Rechkemmer
This Disaster Health Briefing focuses on the work of an expanding team of researchers that is exploring the dynamics of fear-related behaviors in situations of mass threat. Fear-related behaviors are individual or collective behaviors and actions initiated in response to fear reactions that are triggered by a perceived threat or actual exposure to a potentially traumatizing event. Importantly, fear-related behaviors modulate the future risk of harm. Disaster case scenarios are presented to illustrate how fear-related behaviors operate when a potentially traumatic event threatens or endangers the physical and/or psychological health, wellbeing, and integrity of a population...
2016: Disaster Health
M Isabela Troya, M Claire Greene, Clara Gesteira Santos, James M Shultz
Following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Ecuador on 16 April 2016, multiple salient public health concerns were raised, including the need to provide mental health and psychosocial support for individual survivors and their communities. The World Health Organization and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees recommend conducting a desk review to summarize existing information, specific to the affected communities, that will support timely, culturally-attuned assessment and delivery of mental health and psychosocial support shortly after the onset of a disaster or humanitarian emergency...
2016: Disaster Health
James M Shultz, Andreas Rechkemmer
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2016: Disaster Health
James M Shultz, Zelde Espinel, Maria Espinola, Andreas Rechkemmer
The 2013-2016 West Africa Ebola virus disease epidemic was notable for its scope, scale, and complexity. This briefing presents a series of distinguishing epidemiological features that set this outbreak apart. Compared to one concurrent and 23 previous outbreaks of the disease over 40 years, this was the only occurrence of Ebola virus disease involving multiple nations and qualifying as a pandemic. Across multiple measures of magnitude, the 2013-2016 outbreak was accurately described using superlatives: largest and deadliest in terms of numbers of cases and fatalities; longest in duration; and most widely dispersed geographically, with outbreak-associated cases occurring in 10 nations...
2016: Disaster Health
H Katherine O'Neill, Andrew J McLean, Renetta Kalis, James M Shultz
In the spring of 2009, the Fargo, North Dakota, metropolitan area had 5 days to lay millions of sandbags to avoid devastation from record flooding of the Red River of the North. The community was able to successfully mitigate the flooding and escape potentially catastrophic economic, physical, and mental health consequences. We hypothesized that Fargo flood protection efforts reflected the community resilience factors proposed by Norris, Stevens, Pfefferbaum, et al. (2008): citizen involvement in mitigation efforts, effective organizational linkages, ongoing psychosocial support, and strong civic leadership in the face of rapidly changing circumstances...
2016: Disaster Health
Christiana D Atkins, Harvey J Burnett
This study examined the relationship between having training in key disaster behavioral health (DBH) interventions and trauma health (compassion fatigue, burnout and compassion satisfaction), resilience, the number of crisis responses participated in within the last year, and the frequency of assembling to practice crisis interventions skills. Data was collected from a convenience sample of disaster behavioral health responders (N = 139) attending a training conference in Michigan. Measures included the Professional Quality of Life Scale, the 14-item Resilience Scale, and a demographic questionnaire...
2016: Disaster Health
Rose L Pfefferbaum, Betty Pfefferbaum, Yan D Zhao, Richard L Van Horn, Grady S Mack McCarter, Michael B Leonard
This article describes an application of the Communities Advancing Resilience Toolkit (CART) Assessment Survey which has been recognized as an important community tool to assist communities in their resilience-building efforts. Developed to assist communities in assessing their resilience to disasters and other adversities, the CART survey can be used to obtain baseline information about a community, to identify relative community strengths and challenges, and to re-examine a community after a disaster or post intervention...
2016: Disaster Health
James M Shultz, Madeline A Cohen, Sabrina Hermosilla, Zelde Espinel, Andrew McLean
In contrast to continental nations, the world's 52 small island developing states (SIDS) are recognized as a collective of countries that experience disproportionate challenges for sustainable development related to their geography, small size, and physical isolation. These same states also face elevated risks for disaster incidence and consequences particularly in the realms of climate change, sea level rise, natural disasters (tropical cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes), and marine hazardous materials spills...
2016: Disaster Health
James M Shultz, Maria Paz Garcia-Vera, Clara Gesteira Santos, Jesús Sanz, George Bibel, Carl Schulman, George Bahouth, Yasmin Dias Guichot, Zelde Espinel, Andreas Rechkemmer
This disaster complexity case study examines Spain's deadliest train derailment that occurred on July 24, 2013 on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain. Train derailments are typically survivable. However, in this case, human error was a primary factor as the train driver powered the Alvia train into a left curve at more than twice the posted speed. All 13 cars came off the rails with many of the carriages careening into a concrete barrier lining the curve, leading to exceptional mortality and injury...
2016: Disaster Health
Alison Schafer, Leslie Snider, Rania Sammour
Psychological First Aid (PFA) is the recommended immediate psychosocial response during crises. As PFA is now widely implemented in crises worldwide, there are increasing calls to evaluate its effectiveness. World Vision used PFA as a fundamental component of their emergency response following the 2014 conflict in Gaza. Anecdotal reports from Gaza suggest a range of benefits for those who received PFA. Though not intending to undertake rigorous research, World Vision explored learnings about PFA in Gaza through Focus Group Discussions with PFA providers, Gazan women, men and children and a Key Informant Interview with a PFA trainer...
2016: Disaster Health
James M Shultz, J Marshall Shepherd, Rohini Bagrodia, Zelde Espinel
The year 2015 is notable for the coincidence of several strong climate indicators that having bearing on the occurrence and intensity of tropical cyclones worldwide. This year, 2015, is clearly on track to become the warmest on record in terms of global temperatures. During the latter half of 2015, a very strong El Niño has formed and is predicted to build impressively, perhaps rivaling the memorable El Niño of 1997/1998. Warm Pacific Ocean temperatures, coupled with a strengthening El Niño, have supported the proliferation of Western North Pacific basin typhoons and Eastern/Central North Pacific Hurricanes...
July 2014: Disaster Health
James M Shultz, Madeline A Cohen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 2014: Disaster Health
Darryl Wade, David Crompton, Alexandra Howard, Naomi Stevens, Olivia Metcalf, Melissa Brymer, Josef Ruzek, Patricia Watson, Richard Bryant, David Forbes
Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR) is a brief skills-based approach to assist community members to better cope after a disaster or other tragedy. This paper reports on an evaluation of a large SPR training and support program following floods and cyclones in Queensland, Australia. The program sought to recruit, train and support competent SPR trainers; provide systematic high-quality training in SPR skills for practitioners; improve the confidence of a large number of practitioners to use SPR; and encourage practitioners' use of SPR with community members...
July 2014: Disaster Health
Mana Mann, Jiehui Li, Mark R Farfel, Carey B Maslow, Sukhminder Osahan, Steven D Stellman
Behavioral problems and psychopathologies were reported in children exposed to the World Trade Center (WTC) attacks in New York City within 2-3 y post-disaster. Little is known of subsequent 9/11 related behavioral and emotional problems. We assessed risk factors for behavioral difficulties and probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 489 adolescent enrollees ages 11-18 y of age in the World Trade Center Health Registry cohort using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and DISC Predictive Scales (DPS), respectively, as reported by the adolescents...
July 2014: Disaster Health
Mélissa Généreux, Geneviève Petit, Danielle Maltais, Mathieu Roy, Robert Simard, Sonia Boivin, James M Shultz, Linda Pinsonneault
On July 6th 2013, a train derailment occurred in the small town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada, causing a major human and environmental disaster. In this case study, we comprehensively describe and analyze actions taken by the Public Health Department of the Eastern Townships, in close collaboration with community-based organizations, during both the impact phase emergency response and the post-impact recovery operations that continued for months. Due to the complexity of the event, public health actions needed to be broadly diversified...
July 2014: Disaster Health
Antoine Messiah, Juan M Acuna, Grettel Castro, Pura Rodríguez de la Vega, Guillaume Vaiva, James Shultz, Yuval Neria, Mario De La Rosa
This study examined the mental health consequences of the January 2010 Haiti earthquake on Haitians living in Miami-Dade County, Florida, 2-3 years following the event. A random-sample household survey was conducted from October 2011 through December 2012 in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Haitian participants (N = 421) were assessed for their earthquake exposure and its impact on family, friends, and household finances; and for symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and major depression; using standardized screening measures and thresholds...
July 1, 2014: Disaster Health
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