197192 Katrina, Life Stressors, Appraisal, and Perceived Support in Posttraumatic Symptoms

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 10:30 AM

Jun Yamashita, PhD , School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Department of International Health and Development, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
There has been a need of developing a screening tool to detect posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in postdisaster settings. Disaster mental health researchers have claimed that they follow stress research for theoretical bases, which they have applied differently. We reviewed the literature for the two research fields separately to point out similar, but different, trends. We constructed a multivariable regression model by applying a heuristic model of the stress process (Cohen, Kessler, & Gordon, 1997) with a selective choice of three prominent risk/resilience factors among the stress and social correlates (Pearlin, Menaghan, Lieberman, & Mullan, 1981). According to the framed model, we assembled several self-report instruments with the best psychometrics available from the literature. A cross-sectional study was conducted of 125 residents in affected communities of the Greater New Orleans area two years after Hurricane Katrina. Participants were recruited among three sources of non-random sampling. Each participant answered a composite questionnair after indicating his or her consent on an informed consent form. Gift certificates were used as incentive. We determined sample size (N = 102) by investigating effects of item nonresponse. Demographics were compared with a general population. Analyzing collected data, we (1) confirm the appropriateness of subscales among our composite questionnaire and (2) find our model is useful to explain why not all the exposed to a disaster develop PTSD, because the combination of four predictors (Hurricane Stressors, Other Stressors, Stress Appraisal, and Perceived Support) has improved the prediction of the variance (47%) in the outcome variable (Postdisaster Symptoms).

Learning Objectives:
One of our learning purposes is to demonstrate the usefulness of the stress process model, with a selective choice of additional stress or social associates, in investigating why not all the exposed to a disaster do not develop posttraumatic stress disorder later.

Keywords: Disasters, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary investigator, who was involved in all aspects of conducing the research project: designing study procedures, compiling a questionnaire for the study from existing subscales, writing a proposal, obtaining an approval from the IRB, contacting the leaders of neighborhood associations in the targeted areas, recruiting study participants, securing collected data, cleaning and analyzing data, & writing results.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Mental Health and Trauma
See more of: Mental Health