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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 46  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 228-237

Mental Health Consequences of The Trauma of Super-Cyclone 1999 in Orissa

1 Consultant Psychiatrist, Wolverhampton City Primary Care Trust; Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
2 Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
3 Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India
4 Consultant Psychiatrist, Gosford hospital Central Coast Health, New South Wales, Australia
5 Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Nilamadhab Kar
Corner House Resource Centre, 300, Dunstall Road, Wolverhampton, WV6 0NZ, United Kingdom

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 21224904

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A super-cyclone hit 12 coastal districts of Orissa in October 1999 and caused over 20,000 deaths and a considerable damage to property. The psychiatric sequelae of the super-cyclone was studied using a semi-structured proforma for disaster experience, Self Reporting Questionnaire, Impact of Event Scale, Post Traumatic Symptoms Scale, Hopelessness Scale, Suicidality Screening Questionnaire, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and Presumptive Stressful Life Event Scale. The coping style of the victims was also studied. It was observed that 80.4% of the subjects had probable psychiatric disorder. Posttraumatic stress disorder was found in 44.3%; anxiety disorder in 57.5% and depression in 52.7%. A considerable proportion (63.4%) of cases had comorbidity. Children and adolescents, elderly persons, lower socioeconomic status, lower educational levels, unemployment, physical injury, degree of exposure, need for evacuation, death in the family, fear of imminent death during the event, hopelessness, increased stress before disaster and past psychiatric history were associated with adverse psychological sequelae. Increase in suicidality was observed. Implications of these findings are discussed.



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