Most of the data on psychological outcome and the mental health treatment available following natural disasters originate from the indigenous population of the region destroyed. Examining tourists returning from the area affected by the 2004 tsunami presents an opportunity of studying the impact of natural disasters on psychological outcome and mental health treatment in their countries of origin. The aim of the present study was to extend the current knowledge on psychiatric morbidity and potential positive outcomes, as well as subsequent mental health treatment following a natural disaster, based on the results from a sample of home-coming Swiss tourists.
Tourists who had been potentially affected by the 2004 tsunami were assessed using the Post-traumatic Diagnostic Scale, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Post-traumatic Growth Inventory. Outcome variables were related to the degree of tsunami exposure. In addition, mental health treatment before and after the tsunami was assessed.
Of the 342 respondents, 55 (16.8%) fulfilled the criteria of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Evidence of anxiety or depressive disorder was found in 17.8% and 8.0%, respectively. The tsunami victims who had been directly affected showed significantly more symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD, as well as post-traumatic personal growth, than tourists who were indirectly affected or unaffected. A total of 12.3% of untreated respondents fulfilled the criteria for PTSD and 38% of respondents who had received psychiatric treatment were still fulfilling PTSD criteria 2(1/2) years after the tsunami.
A marked percentage of respondents reported symptoms of PTSD but they remained untreated or were treated insufficiently. We recommend that tourists returning from regions affected by natural disasters be informed about PTSD and that careful screening be given to those found to be at risk of PTSD. An open-door policy of mental health services is particularly needed for tourists returning home who have been affected by large-scale disasters.
The present study, which is part of a multipurpose study on alcohol use among women, focuses on the association between education, occupation, family structure and development of alcohol dependence or abuse in women. A total of 316 women were selected by stratified random sampling from all women in a defined part of Gothenburg, Sweden. In a face to face interview, questions were asked about occupation, education, family structure and other variables reflecting socioeconomic conditions and relations within the family. As outcome measures we used alcohol dependence and abuse (ADA), diagnosed in a clinical interview according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition-Revised (DSM-III-R). We found that never having been married, or having poor communication with the spouse, as well as having no children at home to take care of, were strongly associated with ADA in women. The role of social class depended on whether education or occupation was used as a measure. Our findings are compatible with the hypothesis that development of alcohol-related problems among women to a large extent is influenced by matters that relate to home and private life.
Myocardial infarction (MI) is a traumatic health event and at the same time a transition of vital importance in human life. The purpose of this study was to elucidate recovery patterns after myocardial infarction with regard to the content of patients' experiences. The study used a descriptive design and a qualitative method. Interviews with 16 men and women were performed, and data were subjected to a thematic content analysis. The recovery process had a pattern of ability, restraints, and reorientation. Through self-help and help from others, the mutual sharing of burdens, and clarifying restraints to recovery, the recovery process progressed toward reorientation. New values and motivation for change, as well as a new balance within the self and relationships were found. The MI had been integrated into life and, through the recovery process, patients' attitudes were better focused, leading to an enhanced quality of life.
Swedish penal law does not exculpate on the grounds of diminished accountability; persons judged to suffer from severe mental disorder are sentenced to forensic psychiatric care instead of prison. Re-introduction of accountability as a condition for legal responsibility has been advocated, not least by forensic psychiatric professionals. To investigate how professionals in forensic psychiatry would assess degree of accountability based on psychiatric diagnoses and case vignettes, 30 psychiatrists, 30 psychologists, 45 nurses, and 45 ward attendants from five forensic psychiatric clinics were interviewed. They were asked (i) to judge to which degree (on a dimensional scale from 1 to 5) each of 12 psychiatric diagnoses might affect accountability, (ii) to assess accountability from five case vignettes, and (iii) to list further factors they regarded as relevant for their assessment of accountability. All informants accepted to provide a dimensional assessment of accountability on this basis and consistently found most types of mental disorders to reduce accountability, especially psychotic disorders and dementia. Other factors thought to be relevant were substance abuse, social network, personality traits, social stress, and level of education.
The aim of the study was to estimate the effect of the accumulation of major life events (MLE) in childhood and adulthood, in both the private and working domains, on risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Furthermore, we aimed to test the possible interaction between childhood and adult MLE and to investigate modification of these associations by educational attainment.
The study was based on 4,761 participants from the Copenhagen City Heart Study free of diabetes at baseline and followed for 10 years. MLE were categorized as 0, 1, 2, 3 or more events. Multivariate logistic regression models adjusted for age, sex, education and family history of diabetes were used to estimate the association between MLE and T2DM.
In childhood, experiencing 3 or more MLE was associated with a 69% higher risk of developing T2DM (Odds Ratio (OR) 1.69; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.60, 3.27). The accumulation of MLE in adult private (p-trend = 0.016) and work life (p-trend = 0.049) was associated with risk of T2DM in a dose response manner. There was no evidence that experiencing MLE in both childhood and adult life was more strongly associated with T2DM than experiencing events at only one time point. There was some evidence that being simultaneously exposed to childhood MLE and short education (OR 2.28; 95% C.I. 1.45, 3.59) and work MLE and short education (OR 2.86; 95% C.I. 1.62, 5.03) was associated with higher risk of T2DM, as the joint effects were greater than the sum of their individual effects.
Findings from this study suggest that the accumulation of MLE in childhood, private adult life and work life, respectively, are risk factors for developing T2DM.
This paper presents partial findings of a larger research project focusing on what it means to live with a chronic illness. Getting in harmony with oneself is a movement towards, and a form of, acceptance of the chronic suffering and disease. Some patients achieve this level of acceptance, while for others the obstacles of everyday life make this movement towards acceptance difficult. Achieving harmony with oneself is conditioned by the existence of hope and spirit of life/life courage and by the pressure of doubts on this hope. Doubts can shake this hope so that instead of moving towards acceptance, the patient drifts towards hopelessness and despair. The research design is qualitative and uses a phenomenological-hermeneutic approach. A total of 18 patients were interviewed, divided into three groups of six patients diagnosed with 'type I' diabetes, colitis ulcerosa and patients with coronary occlusion in the rehabilitation phase. The goal of the research was to derive patterns/themes common to the three diagnosed groups regarding the patients' view of health and disease in connection with chronic illness and to elucidate the significance of this view for how the patients coped with everyday life. The research method is inspired by Paul Ricoeur.
A total of 1,729 children (2nd-9th grades) in South Africa, Iceland, Poland, Australia, the U.K., and the U.S.A. rated 20 events in terms of how upsetting they are. Save in Poland, the ratings were in close agreement (r, .85-.97), placing the loss of parent at the top and a new baby sibling at the bottom. In Poland, the baby's arrival led the list. Even so, what was seen as quite upsetting fell everywhere in the same two categories--experiences that threaten one's sense of security and those that occasion personal denigration and embarrassment.
The aims of the study were to describe the stability of active commuting (AC) behavior (i.e., walking and cycling) over 27years and examine the relationship between AC and physical activity (PA) from youth to early midlife.
The mode and distance of travel were assessed using a self-reported questionnaire at five consecutive measurements between 1980 and 2007, when 2072 individuals were followed up from youth (9-18years) to adulthood (30-45years). PA was also measured using a questionnaire.
The prevalence of AC declined sharply with age, particularly after 12years, while AC distances to work or place of study increased substantially. AC was concurrently and prospectively associated with PA in both men and women. Maintained AC, whether walking or cycling and short or long distances, positively predicted adult PA over time. Compared with persistently passive commuters, persistently active commuters had higher adult PA after adjustment for potential covariates. Increasing AC was independently associated with high adult PA, particularly in young adulthood.
Walking and cycling to school/work should be encouraged, as regular AC is associated with higher levels of PA over 27years of follow-up, and thus, may contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle through the various stages of life-course.
The focus of this study is how skills acquired from everyday life in one's native country can represent a resource in language training and work for immigrants and refugees. The specific aim is to explore what significance activity and participation in activity have on language training.
This qualitative study is based on fieldwork carried out in relation to a group of illiterate immigrants at a centre for adult education. The sample consists of 11 adult immigrants and refugees, male and female, between the ages of 20 and 65. The interviews with all the participants were carried out with the help of an interpreter.
The main findings were that the individual immigrant's history of activities received little attention during the language training. There was hardly any mention of previous experience from everyday life and work. By relying on different activities in the language training, the resources and background of the individual immigrant would have become more visible. Familiar activities from one's own culture enable communication when language skills are limited.
The call to the Emergency Medical Dispatch Centre is often a person's first contact with the health-care system in cases of acute illness or injury and acute chest pain is a common reason for calling. The aim was to illuminate how spouses to persons with acute chest pain experienced the alarm situation, the emergency call and the prehospital emergency care. Interviews were conducted with nineteen spouses. A phenomenological-hermeneutic approach was used for the analyses. The themes responsibility and uneasiness emerged as well as an overall theme of aloneness. Being a spouse to a person in need of acute medical and nursing assistance was interpreted as "Being responsible and trying to preserve life" and "Being able to manage the uneasiness and having trust in an uncertain situation." When their partners' life was at risk the spouses were in an escalating spiral of worry, uncertainty, stress, fear of loss, feeling of loneliness and desperation. They had to manage emotional distress and felt compelled to act to preserve life, a challenging situation.