Physical and mental health of disaster victims: A comparative study on typhoon and oil spill disasters

Soondool Chung, Eunjeong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the physical and mental health status of disaster victims according to disaster types, such as a typhoon disaster and an oil spill disaster, and to suggest adequate health care services for them. Methods: A total of 484 people who suffered disasters were selected for this study, and data were collected from July to August, 2008. The data-set for this study included 286 victims of typhoon disasters in Jeju and Jeollanamdo district in South Korea, and 198 victims of the oil spill disaster in Taean. Physical health status was measured using revised Patient Health Questionnaire and mental health status was measured using the Korean version of 'Post-traumatic Diagnostic Scale'. Results: According to the comparative analyses of typhoon disaster victims and oil spill disaster victims, poorer physical health outcomes were shown among the oil spill disaster victims when compared to the typhoon disaster victims. Also, the oil spill disaster victims showed symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, at rates higher than those found among the typhoon disaster victims. Conclusions: These findings suggest that there is a need to provide adequate physical and mental health-related care services for oil spill disaster victims. The seriousness of oil spill disaster should be realized and reconsidered in developing recovery strategies and disaster preparedness for physical and mental health services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-395
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010

Keywords

  • Comparative study
  • Disaster victims
  • Mental health
  • Oil spill disaster
  • Physical health
  • Typhoon disaster

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