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J Trauma Stress. 2019 Aug;32(4):526-535. doi: 10.1002/jts.22407. Epub 2019 Jun 17.

Patterns of Comorbidity Among Bereaved Family Members 14 Years after the September 11th, 2001, Terrorist Attacks.

Author information

1
Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
2
Voices of September 11th, New Canaan, Connecticut, USA.

Abstract

in English, Chinese, Spanish

Studies of terrorism-related deaths are few and mostly focus on short-term effects. To characterize long-term bereavement outcomes, including resilience/recovery and patterns of comorbidity, following the September 11, 2001 (9/11), terrorist attacks, we report mental health conditions and grief-related impairment in 454 9/11 bereaved family members. In addition, the contribution of non-9/11 lifetime traumas, pre-9/11 mental health conditions, post-9/11 interim life events, grief services, income adequacy, and social support were examined. Latent class analyses yielded three groups: healthy, comorbid without PTSD (comorbid/noPTSD), and comorbid with PTSD and impaired (comorbid/PTSD+I). Participants in the healthy group (66.1%) were least likely to meet thresholds for mental conditions, whereas those in the comorbid/noPTSD (21.3%) and comorbid/PTSD+I (12.6%) groups had higher probabilities of meeting depression, grief, and anxiety thresholds. These groups also endorsed more negatively valenced post-9/11 interim life events than the healthy group: comorbid/noPTSD vs. healthy, odds ratio (OR) = 0.84, 95% CI [0.76, 0.94]; comorbid/PTSD+I vs. healthy, OR = 0.85, 95% CI [0.76, 0.96]. Comorbid/PTSD+I was the only group with elevated probabilities of meeting clinical thresholds for PTSD (.64) and grief-related impairment (.94). This group was also more likely to include bereaved parents: comorbid/PTSD+I vs. healthy, OR = 12.96, 95% CI [1.97, 85.41]; comorbid/PTSD+I vs. comorbid/noPTSD, OR = 15.55, 95% CI [1.63, 148.41]); and to experience more non-9/11 lifetime traumas: comorbid/PTSD+I vs. healthy, OR = 4.34, 95% CI [1.28, 14.70]; comorbid/PTSD+I vs. comorbid/noPTSD, OR = 6.54, 95% CI [1.53, 27.95]. Clinical and community programs should target this high-risk group to identify individuals in need of services.

PMID:
31206211
DOI:
10.1002/jts.22407

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