Author(s): Catapano F, Malafronte R, Lepre F, Cozzolino P, Arnone R,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: This community study assessed the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the psychosocial consequences of the landslide which occurred in Sarno, Southern Italy, in May 1998. METHOD: A random sample (n=272) of the population living in the highest risk area of Sarno, and a control group recruited in a small town situated near the disaster area, but not affected by the event, were assessed 1 year after the disaster by standardized instruments. RESULTS: Of the subjects recruited in Sarno, 27.6\% met DSM-IV criteria for PTSD; 59\% subjects recruited in Sarno and 35\% of the control group were identified as "probable cases" by the GHQ-30 (P<0.0001). Subjects recruited in Sarno had significantly higher scores on the four GHQ-30 subscales identified by factor analysis. CONCLUSION: This study emphasizes the negative impact of a natural catastrophic event on mental health, and the need for preventive interventions.
This article was published in Acta Psychiatr Scand
and referenced in Journal of Geography & Natural Disasters