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J Affect Disord. 2017 Sep;219:31-36. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.05.026. Epub 2017 May 10.

Increase in the prescription rate of antidepressants after the Sewol Ferry disaster in Ansan, South Korea.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Ansan, Republic of Korea.
2
Healthcare Data Analysis Division, Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, Wonju, Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
4
Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
5
Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: paikjw@khu.ac.kr.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous pharmaco-epidemiological studies have reported increases in the prescription of psychotropic medications after a disaster, reflecting post-disaster changes in psychiatric conditions and mental health service utilization. We investigated changes in the prescription of psychotropic medications in the Danwon district of Ansan city (Ansan Danwon) compared to a control community before and after the Sewol Ferry disaster on April 16, 2014.

METHODS:

Data was collected from the Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service database. We analyzed the prescription rates of psychotropic medications including antidepressants, anxiolytics, and sedatives/hypnotics, and investigated whether the time-series pattern of monthly prescriptions per 100,000 people was different in Ansan Danwon compared to that in Cheonan city after the Sewol Ferry disaster through difference-in-differences regression analysis.

RESULTS:

Ansan Danwon showed a significantly greater increase (5.6%) in the prescription rate of antidepressants compared to Cheonan city following the Sewol Ferry disaster. There were no significant differences in changes in the prescription rates of anxiolytics or sedatives/hypnotics. In the secondary analysis, a significantly greater increase in the prescription rate of antipsychotics was observed in Ansan Danwon compared to a control community after the disaster.

LIMITATIONS:

We could not exclude the possibility that other events influenced changes in the prescription rates of psychotropic medications during the study period.

CONCLUSIONS:

Pharmaco-epidemiological studies on psychotropic medication prescription after a disaster provide important information about population-level mental health. Our results suggest that the Sewol Ferry disaster exerted a harmful effect on the mental health status of the affected community.

KEYWORDS:

Antidepressant; Anxiolytics; Disaster; Mental health; Prescription; Sewol Ferry disaster

PMID:
28505500
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2017.05.026
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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