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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009 Aug;66(8):906-14. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.77.

Promoting mental health recovery after hurricanes Katrina and Rita: what can be done at what cost.

Author information

1
RAND Corporation, Arlington, Virginia, USA. schoenbaumm@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Concerns about mental health recovery persist after the 2005 Gulf storms. We propose a recovery model and estimate costs and outcomes.

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the costs and outcomes of enhanced mental health response to large-scale disasters using the 2005 Gulf storms as a case study.

DESIGN:

Decision analysis using state-transition Markov models for 6-month periods from 7 to 30 months after disasters. Simulated movements between health states were based on probabilities drawn from the clinical literature and expert input.

SETTING:

A total of 117 counties/parishes across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas that the Federal Emergency Management Agency designated as eligible for individual relief following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

PARTICIPANTS:

Hypothetical cohort, based on the size and characteristics of the population affected by the Gulf storms. Intervention Enhanced mental health care consisting of evidence-based screening, assessment, treatment, and care coordination.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Morbidity in 6-month episodes of mild/moderate or severe mental health problems through 30 months after the disasters; units of service (eg, office visits, prescriptions, hospital nights); intervention costs; and use of human resources.

RESULTS:

Full implementation would cost $1133 per capita, or more than $12.5 billion for the affected population, and yield 94.8% to 96.1% recovered by 30 months, but exceed available provider capacity. Partial implementation would lower costs and recovery proportionately.

CONCLUSIONS:

Evidence-based mental health response is feasible, but requires targeted resources, increased provider capacity, and advanced planning.

PMID:
19652130
PMCID:
PMC2910784
DOI:
10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.77
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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