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Psychiatr Q. 2000 Fall;71(3):207-26.

Disaster psychiatry: principles and practice.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799, USA.


Increasingly, trauma and disasters are part of everyday life. Psychiatrists can play an important role in assisting individuals and communities to recover. They bring a unique set of skills and experiences that can be invaluable in minimizing morbidity and facilitating recovery. This paper discusses psychological, physiological, behavioral, and community responses encountered in the aftermath of a disaster. A preventive medicine model of understanding disaster response is discussed in which the psychiatrist delineates traumatic stressors and high-risk populations. The importance of psychiatric participation in disaster preparedness is emphasized. Psychiatric interventions targeted at the various longitudinal phases of disaster response are reviewed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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