Psychological distress among Bam earthquake survivors in Iran: a population-based study

Montazeri, Ali; Baradaran, Hamid; Omidvari, Sepideh; Azin, Seyed Ali; Ebadi, Mehdi; Garmaroudi, Gholamreza; Harirchi, Amir Mahmood; Shariati, Mohammad
January 2005
BMC Public Health;2005, Vol. 5, p4
Academic Journal
Background: An earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale struck the city of Bam in Iran on the 26th of December 2003 at 5.26 A.M. It was devastating, and left over 40,000 dead and around 30,000 injured. The profound tragedy of thousands killed has caused emotional and psychological trauma for tens of thousands of people who have survived. A study was carried out to assess psychological distress among Bam earthquake survivors and factors associated with severe mental health in those who survived the tragedy. Methods: This was a population-based study measuring psychological distress among the survivors of Bam earthquake in Iran. Using a multi-stage stratified sampling method a random sample of individuals aged 15 years and over living in Bam were interviewed. Psychological distress was measured using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Results: In all 916 survivors were interviewed. The mean age of the respondents was 32.9 years (SD = 12.4), mostly were males (53%), married (66%) and had secondary school education (50%). Forty-one percent reported they lost 3 to 5 members of their family in the earthquake. In addition the findings showed that 58% of the respondents suffered from severe mental health as measured by the GHQ-12 and this was three times higher than reported psychological distress among the general population. There were significant differences between sub-groups of the study sample with regard to their psychological distress. The results of the logistic regression analysis also indicated that female gender; lower education, unemployment, and loss of family members were associated with severe psychological distress among earthquake victims. Conclusion: The study findings indicated that the amount of psychological distress among earthquake survivors was high and there is an urgent need to deliver mental health care to disaster victims in local medical settings and to reduce negative health impacts of the earthquake adequate psychological counseling is needed for those who survived the tragedy.


Related Articles

  • Unforeseen difficulties faced by a hospital in dealing with mass disaster victims. Dhar, Shabir Ahmed; Hamid, Arshiya; Salim Khan, Shahzada Mohammed; Butt, Mohammed Farooq // Tropical Doctor;Oct2008, Vol. 38 Issue 4, p260 

    Every major mass disaster challenges the health care services, especially in the third world. These challenges include the expected situations mainly pertaining to the overload of patients and the stretching of hospital facilities. We report our experiences about several unforseen challenges...

  • SHOCK TREATMENT. Walker, Christine // Nursing Standard;8/27/2008, Vol. 22 Issue 51, p62 

    The article presents a nurse's experience in disaster nursing. This paper reports how did Heather McClelland rose to the challenge of helping earthquake victims in China's south west province of Sichuan. McClelland flew to China with a team of British experts to help their Chinese counterparts....

  • The South Asian Earthquake Six Months Later – An Ongoing Crisis. Brennan, Richard J.; Waldman, Ronald J. // New England Journal of Medicine;4/27/2006, Vol. 354 Issue 17, p1769 

    The article presents the authors' views on relief services and medical care provided after an earthquake of magnitude 7.6, that struck northern Pakistan and India on October 8, 2005. According to reports, nearly 74,650 people died, 76,000 people were injured, and 2.8 million became homeless....

  • Long-term commitment, not just short-term response, needed in Haiti. Lindstrom, Richard // Ocular Surgery News Asia-Pacific;Apr2010, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p3 

    The author discusses the need for sustained health care commitment in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. He notes that the tragedy in Haiti is proof of how neglected health care infrastructure is in poor countries. In Haiti, 50 ophthalmologists provided care to 9 million people by using...

  • Vital Signs. Kagan, H. Lee // Discover;May2010, Vol. 31 Issue 4, p26 

    The author, a doctor, relates his experience working at the Buen Samaritano clinic outside Jimaní, Dominican Republic, after the 7.0 magnitude January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and his care of a patient with a flailed chest caused in the quake.

  • Turkey surprised by extent of aid. Ciment, James // BMJ: British Medical Journal (International Edition);09/04/99, Vol. 319 Issue 7210, p592 

    Reports on the medical relief efforts for the survivors of the August 17, 1999 earthquake in Turkey. Health fears expressed by survivors; Health risks that are being focused on; Foreign aids received by Turkey

  • HOPE OUT OF THE RUBBLE. Fowler, Joanne; Helling, Steve // People;4/12/2010, Vol. 73 Issue 14, p66 

    The article focuses on the Vanderpools, an American family that is providing medical care to victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Surgeon David Vanderpool brings his family to war-torn and impoverished countries to run temporary medical clinics. The article describes how the family dispenses...

  • Medical Community Rushes to Aid Victims of Haiti Quake. Sohrabji, Sunita // India -- West;1/29/2010, Vol. 35 Issue 10, pA4 

    The article reports on the initiative of the Indian American medical community to provide aid and medical care to the earthquake victims in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 12, 2010. It is noted that a team of physicians and nurses was sent by the Stanford Hospital led by Anil Menon, Department...

  • Japan rebuilds after killer quake.  // Junior Scholastic;2/10/95, Vol. 97 Issue 12, p17 

    Reports on the efforts of Kobe, Japan residents to recover from the damages brought about by the January 17, 1995 earthquake. Number of people injured; Costs; Geographical characteristics.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics