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J Okla State Med Assoc. 1999 Apr;92(4):178-86.

A prospective study of long-term health outcomes among Oklahoma City bombing survivors.

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1
Injury Prevention Service, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma City 73117, USA.

Abstract

A follow-up study was conducted to identify long-term physical and emotional outcomes among Oklahoma City bombing survivors. Baseline data were gathered by the Oklahoma State Department of Health in 1995. Follow-up data were gathered by telephone interviews of survivors from 1-1/2 to 3 years after the bombing. The frequency of medical diagnoses, symptoms, medical cost, physical and social life changes, and services utilized since the bombing were assessed. A total of 494 persons were interviewed, 92 percent had been physically injured in the bombing. Seventy-nine percent of persons interviewed rated their general health status as "good," "very good," or "excellent." Overall, one-fourth to one-third of survivors reported being newly diagnosed with audiologic changes, anxiety, and depression since the bombing. One-third of persons reported preexisting medical conditions that had worsened since the bombing including depression (26%) and asthma/bronchitis (22%). The most frequently reported posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms were "being jumpy or easily startled" and "recurring distressful thoughts of the bombing." The most frequently utilized medical services were psychological counseling (63%) and audiology services (48%). Total costs were estimated of $ 5.7 million. Overall, persons who had been hospitalized with bombing injuries reported higher rates of diagnoses, symptoms, and services utilization. These findings suggest that a large proportion of survivors of a terrorist bombing, especially those seriously injured, will experience long-term physical and/or emotional outcomes and increased need for treatment for bombing-related medical conditions. All survivors should be carefully assessed over time for auditory damage, depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

PMID:
10213970
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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