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The Effect Of Disaster On The Health And Well-Being Of Older Women
M. E. Melick, J. N. Logue
Published 1985 · Psychology, Medicine
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Relatively little attention has been paid to the post-disaster health status and well-being of older persons. The data discussed in this article were gathered through use of a retrospective cohort survey five years following a major flood in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania. The subsample of women sixty-five years and older used in this analysis is composed of 122 female victims and forty-five controls from the same communities. The instruments used to measure mental status included Langner's 22-Item Scale, Zung's Self-rating Depression Scale, and a modified Self-Report Symptom Inventory (SCL-90). Additional items related to self-perceptions of health status, to influence of the flood on health and well-being, and to other issues. Significant differences occurred in self-perceptions, including state of mind after the flood (p < .001), distress during recovery (p < .001), quality of life after the flood (p < .001), and frequency of thinking about the flood matters (p < .025). Use of the instruments designed to assess mental status did not indicate greater levels of anxiety or depression in elderly victims as compared to non-victims.
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