Prevalence Of Disorder

The differential outcomes between disasters are sometimes difficult to determine, because of the previously mentioned variability of the sampling processes that have been used. Equally, the intensity of exposure experienced by the population studied has a major impact on the prevalence of disorders.

Lower rates of impairment have been identified following disasters occurring in the USA in comparison to those occurring in other developed countries [12]. The highest rates have been found in developing countries. This finding may be in part due to the nature of the samples that have been studied, but may also reflect the greater impact of disasters on these communities because of their limited resources to manage the recovery period. Norris et al. [12] identified the Lockerbie [70] and Jupiter cruise ship [71] disasters as those showing the highest rates of impairment.

Conclusions about the type of disaster that is associated with highest rates of impairment are influenced significantly by the amount of research that is done on the different types of events. Hurricane Andrew was a particularly devastating natural disaster and is probably the most researched event [12,48,72,73]. This may affect conclusions about the different impact of natural and man-made technological disasters.

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