209457 In preparing for disaster, does possession of insurance coverage and experience of discrimination influence mental impact of the event? Association of types insurance with mental impact of event among Katrina survivors in Mississippi

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 5:35 PM

Olugbemiga Tanilepada Ekundayo, MD, MPH, DrPH , Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Hussain Al-Fadhli, PhD , Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Gerri A. Cannon-Smith, MD, MPH , School of Public Health, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Safiya Omari, PhD , School of Social Work, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Warren A. Jones, MD, FAAFP , Mississippi Institute for Improvement of Geographic Minority Health, The University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
Amel Mohamed, MPH(c) , Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Gladys R. Peters, MPH , Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Institute of Epidemiology and Health Services Research, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Margaret H. Hill, MPPA , Department of Epidemilogy, Institute of Epdemiology and Health Services Research, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS

Experience of the response to hurricane Katrina indicated wide differences between demographic groups. However, it is not known whether, during disaster situations, survivors were less likely to experience stress as severely as those without. Knowledge of such a relationship can help develop messages for preparedness as well as preparedness for future disaster. We examine the relationships between ownership and type of insurance, experience of discrimination and mental perceptions of impact of event.


Using stratified convenience sampling, 223 Katrina survivors filled an eight-section questionnaire. Questions used include the impact of event scale and the kind and extent of damage to person significant others, automobile(s), boat(s) and home. Data were analyzed using chi square statistics to identify associations of ownership and type of insurance with perception of impact of event.

Findings and conclusion

Only 22 (10%) of respondents had renters insurance, 41% of respondents, 43.7% and 42.7% suffered 50%-100% damage to homes, furniture or personal possessions while 28.6% suffered 50%-100% damage to automobiles. However, 47.7% had homeowners insurance. There were significant associations between flood insurance coverage trouble falling asleep, trouble concentrating and other symptoms of ongoing anxiety. There were also strong associations between various experiences of discrimination and some symptoms of anxiety and stress during the disaster, not mitigated by insurance coverage. The significant associations of insurance coverage and experience of discrimination with post disaster anxiety or stress bear some attention and point at demographically and geographically based preparedness planning.

Learning Objectives:
1. Define Insurance Coverage 2. Describe elements of discrimination 3. Describe stratified convenience sampling 4. Describe elements of anxiety related to disasters 5. Describe insurance coverage

Keywords: Disasters, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Prinipal Investigator 4 years experience in disaster research
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.