The objective of the study is to survey the occurrence of psychological and physical complaints some 2 1/2 years after the tsunami, and to assess the importance of social support and the perception of preventive/therapeutic measures that were implemented by the public authorities in the aftermath of the disaster in 2004.
Both questionnaires and interviews will be used in the study. Data collection began in March/April 2007.
The study of the persons left behind will study two groups of bereaved: survivors who were in the disaster area, and the bereaved who were not in the disaster area during the tsunami. Common to both groups is the loss of one or more close family members. We define close family as children, parents, siblings and/or spouses/cohabitants. The study will encompass persons over 18 years of age.
Some issues of interest
- What is the prevalence of complicated grief reactions, general health complaints and posttraumatic stress reactions in the bereaved approximately 2 ½ years after the catastrophe?
- Is the prevalence of complicated grief reactions, general health complaints and posttraumatic stress reactions higher in those who were in the disaster area than in those who were not there during the disaster?
- What risk factors for complicated grief reactions, general health complaints and posttraumatic stress reactions can be identified?
- What are the perceptions and effects of social support among those left behind?
- What public measures have the bereaved found to be useful (includes information, return trip, psychosocial support, etc.)?
Contact has been established with senior lecturer Tom Lundin, dr. med., of the National Center for Disaster Psychiatry, University of Uppsala, concerning collaboration on research.