The association between dispositional and mental health problems among disaster victims and a comparison group

A prospective study

P.G. van der Velden, R.J. Kleber, M. Fournier, Linda Grievink, A. Drogendijk, B.P.R. Gersons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Background: It is unclear whether the associations between the level of dispositional optimism on the one hand, and depression
symptoms and other health problems on the other hand among disaster victims differ from the associations among non-affected residents.

Methods: To assess the associations between the level of dispositional optimism and health problems among disaster victims and
non-affected residents, data of the longitudinal Enschede Fireworks Disaster Study was analyzed. Participants in the present study
consisted of adult native Dutch victims of the disaster (N=662) and a non-affected comparison group (N=526). Both groups
participated 18 months (T1) and almost four years post-disaster (T2). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were applied to
examine the association between optimism and health problems among both groups.

Results: Results showed that pessimistic victims were more at risk for severe depression symptoms and obsessive–compulsive
symptoms than optimistic victims when controlling for demographic characteristics, life events, smoking, and existing health
problems at T1. However, pessimistic participants in the comparison group were also more at risk for severe anxiety symptoms,
sleeping problems, somatic problems, and problems in social functioning than optimistic control participants
.
Limitations: We had no information on dispositional optimism before 18 months post-disaster
.
Conclusions: Pessimists at baseline are more at risk for health problems after 27 months than optimists. However, among nonaffected
residents pessimism is a stronger independent risk factor than among victims. Results suggest that professional helpers
such as general practitioners, psychologists and psychiatrists should not rely too much on optimistic views of disaster victims.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume102
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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Mental Health
Disasters
General Practitioners
Logistic Models
Depression
Optimism

Cite this

van der Velden, P. G., Kleber, R. J., Fournier, M., Grievink, L., Drogendijk, A., & Gersons, B. P. R. (2007). The association between dispositional and mental health problems among disaster victims and a comparison group: A prospective study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 102, 35-45.
van der Velden, P.G. ; Kleber, R.J. ; Fournier, M. ; Grievink, Linda ; Drogendijk, A. ; Gersons, B.P.R. / The association between dispositional and mental health problems among disaster victims and a comparison group : A prospective study. In: Journal of Affective Disorders. 2007 ; Vol. 102. pp. 35-45.
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abstract = "Background: It is unclear whether the associations between the level of dispositional optimism on the one hand, and depressionsymptoms and other health problems on the other hand among disaster victims differ from the associations among non-affected residents.Methods: To assess the associations between the level of dispositional optimism and health problems among disaster victims andnon-affected residents, data of the longitudinal Enschede Fireworks Disaster Study was analyzed. Participants in the present studyconsisted of adult native Dutch victims of the disaster (N=662) and a non-affected comparison group (N=526). Both groupsparticipated 18 months (T1) and almost four years post-disaster (T2). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were applied toexamine the association between optimism and health problems among both groups.Results: Results showed that pessimistic victims were more at risk for severe depression symptoms and obsessive–compulsivesymptoms than optimistic victims when controlling for demographic characteristics, life events, smoking, and existing healthproblems at T1. However, pessimistic participants in the comparison group were also more at risk for severe anxiety symptoms,sleeping problems, somatic problems, and problems in social functioning than optimistic control participants.Limitations: We had no information on dispositional optimism before 18 months post-disaster.Conclusions: Pessimists at baseline are more at risk for health problems after 27 months than optimists. However, among nonaffectedresidents pessimism is a stronger independent risk factor than among victims. Results suggest that professional helperssuch as general practitioners, psychologists and psychiatrists should not rely too much on optimistic views of disaster victims.",
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van der Velden, PG, Kleber, RJ, Fournier, M, Grievink, L, Drogendijk, A & Gersons, BPR 2007, 'The association between dispositional and mental health problems among disaster victims and a comparison group: A prospective study', Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 102, pp. 35-45.

The association between dispositional and mental health problems among disaster victims and a comparison group : A prospective study. / van der Velden, P.G.; Kleber, R.J.; Fournier, M.; Grievink, Linda; Drogendijk, A.; Gersons, B.P.R.

In: Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 102, 2007, p. 35-45.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The association between dispositional and mental health problems among disaster victims and a comparison group

T2 - A prospective study

AU - van der Velden, P.G.

AU - Kleber, R.J.

AU - Fournier, M.

AU - Grievink, Linda

AU - Drogendijk, A.

AU - Gersons, B.P.R.

PY - 2007

Y1 - 2007

N2 - Background: It is unclear whether the associations between the level of dispositional optimism on the one hand, and depressionsymptoms and other health problems on the other hand among disaster victims differ from the associations among non-affected residents.Methods: To assess the associations between the level of dispositional optimism and health problems among disaster victims andnon-affected residents, data of the longitudinal Enschede Fireworks Disaster Study was analyzed. Participants in the present studyconsisted of adult native Dutch victims of the disaster (N=662) and a non-affected comparison group (N=526). Both groupsparticipated 18 months (T1) and almost four years post-disaster (T2). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were applied toexamine the association between optimism and health problems among both groups.Results: Results showed that pessimistic victims were more at risk for severe depression symptoms and obsessive–compulsivesymptoms than optimistic victims when controlling for demographic characteristics, life events, smoking, and existing healthproblems at T1. However, pessimistic participants in the comparison group were also more at risk for severe anxiety symptoms,sleeping problems, somatic problems, and problems in social functioning than optimistic control participants.Limitations: We had no information on dispositional optimism before 18 months post-disaster.Conclusions: Pessimists at baseline are more at risk for health problems after 27 months than optimists. However, among nonaffectedresidents pessimism is a stronger independent risk factor than among victims. Results suggest that professional helperssuch as general practitioners, psychologists and psychiatrists should not rely too much on optimistic views of disaster victims.

AB - Background: It is unclear whether the associations between the level of dispositional optimism on the one hand, and depressionsymptoms and other health problems on the other hand among disaster victims differ from the associations among non-affected residents.Methods: To assess the associations between the level of dispositional optimism and health problems among disaster victims andnon-affected residents, data of the longitudinal Enschede Fireworks Disaster Study was analyzed. Participants in the present studyconsisted of adult native Dutch victims of the disaster (N=662) and a non-affected comparison group (N=526). Both groupsparticipated 18 months (T1) and almost four years post-disaster (T2). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were applied toexamine the association between optimism and health problems among both groups.Results: Results showed that pessimistic victims were more at risk for severe depression symptoms and obsessive–compulsivesymptoms than optimistic victims when controlling for demographic characteristics, life events, smoking, and existing healthproblems at T1. However, pessimistic participants in the comparison group were also more at risk for severe anxiety symptoms,sleeping problems, somatic problems, and problems in social functioning than optimistic control participants.Limitations: We had no information on dispositional optimism before 18 months post-disaster.Conclusions: Pessimists at baseline are more at risk for health problems after 27 months than optimists. However, among nonaffectedresidents pessimism is a stronger independent risk factor than among victims. Results suggest that professional helperssuch as general practitioners, psychologists and psychiatrists should not rely too much on optimistic views of disaster victims.

M3 - Article

VL - 102

SP - 35

EP - 45

JO - Journal of Affective Disorders

JF - Journal of Affective Disorders

SN - 0165-0327

ER -