Monday, March 17, 2008

Physical symptoms in disaster survivors

People who have survived disasters often suffer from psychosomatic symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and pains in their bones and muscles. However, little is known about the risk factors for these symptoms among disaster survivors. A study of 1,567 survivors of an explosion at a fireworks depot in Holland, which killed 23 people in May 2000, found that women, immigrants and people with pre-existing psychological problems were more likely to suffer from psychosomatic symptoms. Intrusive thoughts, avoidance, depression, anxiety and sleeping problems all played a part in perpetuating physical symptoms.

Berg, B. van den ... [et al] - Risk factors for physical symptoms after a disaster: a longitudinal study Psychological Medicine April 2008, 38(4), 499-510

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