227885 Triangulating on stress after Hurricane Ike

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Sheryl Bishop, PhD , School of Nursing, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Burden of Disease Survey estimates that by the year 2020, stress-related mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety disorders, will be second only to ischemic heart disease in the scope of disabilities experienced by sufferers. Findings commonly demonstrate clear associations between PTSD symptomatology, depression, anxiety, worry, and exposure. Assessment of immunoendocrine stress responses have been found to provide critical information regarding underlying biological causal factors leading to mental and physiological dysfunction. Methods: A naturalistic multivariate longitudinal study on stress and coping related to short and long term mental and physical health outcomes was initiated in the immediate aftermath of the Hurricane Ike disaster on the faculty, staff and students of the University of Texas Medical Branch health science center. In addition to an extensive battery of demographic, hurricane exposure, psychological and physiological measures obtained through survey, 115 participants also donated salivary samples in order to assess levels of IL1, IL6, TNFa, cortisol, DHEA-S, testosterone and Epstein-Barr viral reactivation as biological indicators of stress. Biological assays are currently being processed. Preliminary results: Analyses on the 115 respondents who donated biological samples found 26.7% (n=31/112) had elevated levels of depressive symptoms, 7.8% (n=9/111) demonstrated significant levels of PTSD symptomology, and 53.3% (n=56/105) exhibited elevated levels of worry. A robust pattern of significant intercorrelations was found between all psychological and physiological measures. Planned analyses for presentation will include multivariate assessments of the relationships between the immunoendocrine biological markers and psychological measures.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health biology

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify the relationships between psychological and physiological indicators of stress. 2) Name immunoendocrine factors that are related to psychological measures of distress.

Keywords: Disasters, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am doctorally prepared researcher and I also conducted the data collection and responsible for data analysis, and abstract writing.
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.