Shelter-in-place and mental health: An analogue study of well-being and distress
Keywords:shelter-in-place, mental health, disaster simulation, contamination disasters
Based on the disaster mental health literature and research on quarantine, confinement, social distancing, and isolation, considerable evidence exists which supports the idea that individuals who shelter-in-place (SIP) may experience adverse emotional and/or mental-health responses.
Objective: This study investigated the impact of a long-term (48-hour) SIP simulation on mental health during a “dirty bomb” detonation.
Design/participants: Participants (n = 73) completed the Mental Health Inventory (MHI; Veit and Ware, 1983) and a self-report questionnaire on current functioning.
Results: Sheltering-in-place did not have adverse effects on mental health although supplemental analysis indicated that groups that are cohesive have an easier time. Qualitative observations also provided a significant amount of information regarding group dynamics, attrition, and cognitive functioning.
Conclusions: The results of this study provide evidence to emergency management professionals that SIP is viable disaster response strategy that does not adversely impact mental health provided group cohesion is high. The findings also have implications regarding public messaging and outreach initiatives regarding the emotional and physical safety of SIP.
Mannan MS, Kilpatrick DL: The pros and cons of shelter-in-place. Process Safety Progress. 2000; 19(4): 210-218.
Federal Emergency Management Agency: Guidelines for Staying Put (Sheltering in Place). Available at http://www.ready.gov/shelter. Accessed February 12, 2013.
American Red Cross: Shelter-In-Place During a Chemical or Radiation Emergency. Available at http://www.bt.cdc.gov/preparedness/shelter/. Accessed August 25, 2011.
Lasker RD,Hunter ND, Francis SE:With the Public’s Knowledge, We can Make Sheltering in Place Possible. New York, NY: The New York Academy of Medicine, 2007.
Environmental Protection Agency: Research Highlights: Questions and Answers: EPA Shelter-In-Place Research. Available at http://www.epa.gov/nhsrc/news/news010606b.html. Accessed August 25, 2011.
American Red Cross: Fact Sheet on Shelter-In-Place. Available at http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340182_shelterinplace.pdf. Accessed May 7, 2013.
Department of Homeland Security, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Occupant Emergency Plans: Development, Implementation, and Maintenance. Available at http://www.gsa.gov/graphics/pbs/OEP_Guide.pdf. Accessed May 7, 2013.
Breakwell GM, Hammond S, Fife-Schaw C: Research Methods in Psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1995.
Creswell JW: Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2009.
Heppner PP, Wampold BE, Kivlighan DM: Research Design in Counseling. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Thompson/Brooks Cole, 2008.
Mancini AD, Bonanno GA: Resilience in the face of potential trauma: Clinical practices and illustrations. J Clin Psychol. 2006; 62(8): 971-985.
Norris FH, Friedman MJ,Watson PJ, et al.: 60,000 disaster victims speak: Part I. An empirical review of the empirical literature. Psychiatry. 2002; 65(3): 207-239.
Bromet EJ: The nature and effects of technological failures. In Gist R, Lubin B. (eds.): Psychological Effects of Disaster. New York, NY:Wiley, 1989: 120-139.
Cliff N: Analyzing Multivariate Data. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987.
Howell DC: Statistical Methods for Psychology. 5th ed. Pacific Grove, CA: Wadsworth Group, 2002.
Veit CT, Ware JE: The structure of psychological distress and well-being in general populations. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1983; 51(5): 730-742.
Stewart AL, Ware J, Sherbourne CD, et al.: Psychological distress/well-being and cognitive functioning measures. In Stewart AL, Ware JE (eds.): Measuring Functioning and Well-Being. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1995: 102-142.
Scollon CN, Kim-Prieto C, Diener E: Experience sampling: Promises and pitfalls, strengths and weaknesses. J Happiness Stud. 2003; 4:(1): 5-34.
Department of Homeland Security: National Planning Scenarios. Washington, DC: Author. Available at http://publicintelligence.net/national-planning-scenarios-version-21-3-2006-finaldraft/. Accessed May 7, 2013.
Brehaut JC, Poses R, Shojania KG, et al.: Do physician outcome judgments and judgment biases contribute to inappropriate use of treatments? Study protocol. Implement Sci. 2007; 2(18): 1-11.
Braun V, Clarke V: Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qual Res Psychol. 2006; 3(2): 77-101.
Cohen J: Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences. 2nd ed. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1998.
Field A: Discovering Statistics Using SPSS. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2005.
Chen H, Chung H, Chen T, et al.: Brief report: The emotional distress in a community after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Commun Ment Health J. 2003; 39(2): 157-165.
Bravo M, Rubio-Stipec M, Canino GJ, et al.: The psychological sequelae of disaster stress prospectively and retrospectively evaluated. Am J Commun Psychol. 1990; 18(5): 611-680.
Galea S, Nandi A, Vlahov D: The epidemiology of post-traumatic stress disorder after disasters. Epidemiol Rev. 2005; 27(1): 78-91.
Speckhard A: Voices from the inside. In Havenaar JM, Cwikel JC, Bromet EJ (eds.): Toxic Turmoil: Psychological and Societal Consequences of Ecological Disasters. New York, NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2002: 217-236.
Dion K: Interpersonal and group processes in long-term spaceflight crews: Perspectives from social and organizational psychology. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2004; 75(7 Suppl): C36-C43.
Forsyth DR: An Introduction to Group Dynamics. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing, 1983.
Johnson JC, Boster JS, Palikas L: Social roles and the evolution of networks in extreme and isolated environments. J Math Sociol. 2003; 27(2-3): 89-121.
Palikas LA: The psychology of isolated and confined environments: Understanding human behavior in Antarctica. Am Psychol. 2003; 58(5): 353-363.
Johnson ME, Pierce CA, Baldwin K, et al.: Presentation format in analogue studies: Effects on participants’ evaluations. J Psychol. 1996; 130(3): 341-350.
How to Cite
Copyright 2007-2023, Weston Medical Publishing, LLC and Journal of Emergency Management. All Rights Reserved