Assessment of the health impacts of the 2011 summer floods in Brisbane

Alderman, Katarzyna, Turner, Lyle, & Tong, Shilu (2013) Assessment of the health impacts of the 2011 summer floods in Brisbane. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 7(4), pp. 380-386.

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Objective To assess the effects of the 2011 floods in Brisbane, Australia, on residents’ physical and mental health.

Methods Residents who had been affected by the floods completed a community-based survey that examined the direct impact of flooding on households and their perceived physical and mental health. Outcome variables included overall and respiratory health and mental health outcomes related to psychological distress, sleep quality, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the association between flooding and perceived health outcome variables, adjusted for current health status and sociodemographic factors.

Results Residents whose households were directly affected by flooding were more likely to report poor overall (Odds Ratio [OR] 5.3; 95% CI, 2.8-10.1) and respiratory (OR 2.3; 95% CI, 1.1-4.6) health, psychological distress (OR 1.9; 95% CI, 1.1-3.5), poor sleep quality (OR 2.3; 95% CI, 1.2-4.4), and probable PTSD (OR 2.3; 95% CI, 1.2-4.5).

Conclusions The 2011 Brisbane floods had significant impact on the physical and psychosocial health of residents. Improved support strategies may need to be integrated into existing disaster management programs to reduce flood-related health impacts, particularly those related to mental health.

Impact and interest:

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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 53863
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Funders: ARC
Keywords: Floods, Disaster management, Mental health, Vulnerable populations, Climate change, CEDM
DOI: 10.1017/dmp.2013.42
ISSN: 1935-7893
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Emergency & Disaster Management
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 15 Aug 2013 04:04
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2014 01:30

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