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Global Projects


Post Tsunami Recovery and Belief-2

Colombo, Sri Lanka


Introduction: The 2004 Tsunami left more than 33,000 dead and 2.5 million displaced Sri Lanka in an unprecedented disaster. Disaster survivors are often at risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other psychological conditions. Previously we conducted a survey among Tsunami survivors living in temporary shelters in south west Sri Lanka after six months. The prevalence of PTSD found was 56% and depression 69%. We also explored causal attribution in relation to PTSD and found after adjusting for relevant confounding factors, pessimistic explanatory styles were independently associated with poor health and PTSD. Data on long term post- disaster psychological health is limited and no study reported data on causal attribution. Methods: We are proposing a follow up cross sectional study among 260 exposed and 100 non exposed individuals from the same 5 districts to examine the long term (6 year) psychological impact of the disaster, and relationship of causal attribution by subjects to their recovery. The proposed semi structured survey will be administered by trained research assistants. Significance: This study will provide a quantitative estimate of long term prevalence of PTSD and depression after the 2004 Tsunami. It will explore the role of resilience and causal attribution in long term psychological consequences for individuals. This data can be immediately used in modeling behavioral interventions. The study will provide data for health agencies in Sri Lanka and can lead to similar uses in other countries. Use of appropriate information technology in field surveys under low resource conditions will be an additional area of interest. We hope the study will lead to further studies and funding opportunities related to population level psychological recovery after a disaster, an area of public health interest across the globe.


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