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Psychological functioning of tsunami affected people with disabilities: Impact of age

Sujata Satapathy, BA, MA, BEd, MPhil, PhD, Sekar Kasi, BA, MA, PhD

Abstract


The study determined differential psychological vulnerability of people with disabilities across different age groups in worst affected areas in tsunami disaster. A total of 275 tsunami affected people with various disabilities aged between 16 and 85 years were included in the final sample. Self Reporting Questionnaire (psychological distress), Impact of Event Scale (post-traumatic stress), and quality of life (QOL) were measured. People in their late adulthood and elderly years reported significantly higher psychological distress when compared with the teens and early adults and the young adults. People across different age groups reported equal posttraumatic stress. Increase in age resulted in more psychological distress and poor physical, social, and environmental QOL. Age and severity of disability were found to be significant predictors of psychological distress. The findings primarily supported the “differential vulnerability hypothesis” in the context of a disaster; therefore, implications are far reaching for the policy makers and planners, administrators/disaster managers, and mental health/psychosocial service providers. Long-term psychosocial and psychiatric interventions are suggested to be provided till the reconstruction and rebuilding phase continues.

Keywords


psychological distress, quality of life, disaster, aging with a disability

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jem.2012.0096

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