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Psychiatry. 2008 Winter;71(4):339-48. doi: 10.1521/psyc.2008.71.4.339.

The mental health consequences of disaster-related loss: findings from primary care one year after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University Medical Center, New York City, NY 10032, USA. ny126@columbia


This study examines the long-term psychiatric consequences, pain interference in daily activities, work loss, and functional impairment associated with 9/11-related loss among low-income, minority primary care patients in New York City. A systematic sample of 929 adult patients completed a survey that included a sociodemographic questionnaire, the PTSD Checklist, the PRIME-MD Patient Health Questionnaire, and the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-12 (SF-12). Approximately one-quarter of the sample reported knowing someone who was killed in the attacks of 9/11, and these patients were sociodemographically similar to the rest of the sample. Compared to patients who had not experienced 9/11-related loss, patients who experienced loss were roughly twice as likely (OR = 1.97, 95%; CI = 1.40, 2.77) to screen positive for at least one mental disorder, including major depressive disorder (MDD; 29.2%), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; 19.4%), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; 17.1%). After controlling for pre-9/11 trauma, 9/11-related loss was significantly related to extreme pain interference, work loss, and functional impairment. The results suggest that disaster-related mental health care in this clinical population should emphasize evidence-based treatments for mood and anxiety disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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