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PTSD Among New Orleans Residents

Perhaps it is no surprise that post-traumatic stress disorder is 10 times higher in New Orleans than in the general public. However, the silver-lining after this mass disaster is the opportunity to develop a long term, coordinated mental health response as part of disaster relief. Interim or temporary mental health response is not adequate for this population.

Hurricane Katrina was the most significant natural disaster to strike the United States. Thousands of people were exposed to destruction, human violence and desperate circumstances.

In a paper to be presented at the 2007 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Annual Meeting, Professor Lisa D. Mills, MD, Director, Section of Emergency Medicine Ultrasound, Louisiana State University at New Orleans, will show that PTSD was diagnosed in over 38 percent of the people who came to an interim Emergency Department facility in New Orleans.

This is more than ten times higher than the 3.6 percent prevalence in the general US population. Loss of a loved one and simply staying in New Orleans during the storm were associated with PTSD symptoms.

Commenting on this study, Dr. Peter DeBlieux, MD, Director of Emergency Services at Louisiana State University in New Orleans, states,

“The incidence of PTSD in our population post-Katrina reported in this research study is noteworthy and worth following as recovery efforts move forward. The prevalence cited in this study is not alarming to those professionals caring for patients who have been traumatized by the storm and challenged by the recovery efforts.”

The magnitude and duration of even a single mental health care diagnosis after this disaster demonstrates the need for long term, coordinated mental health response as part of disaster relief. Interim or temporary mental health response is not adequate for this population.

Source: Elsevier Health Sciences

PTSD Among New Orleans Residents

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). PTSD Among New Orleans Residents. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 17, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/05/17/ptsd-among-new-orleans-residents/834.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.