Psychologie en Gezondheid

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 124–130 | Cite as

De prevalentie en het beloop van lichamelijke klachten na rampen



The prevalence and course of physical symptoms after disasters

Recently, partly due to the health effects of the Gulf War and the aircraft disaster in the Bijlmermeer in Amsterdam, there is growing recognition that traumatic events can be related to physical symptoms that often remain medically unexplained. Several studies after different kinds of disasters have shown higher levels of physical symptoms among survivors compared to controls. After the fireworks disaster in Enschede, survivors reported significantly more physical symptoms compared to controls up to four years post-disaster. Several risk factors such as female gender, low socio-economic status and psychological problems have consistently been found in studies after disasters. The results from these studies suggest that elevation of physical symptoms is part of the distress reaction following traumatic stress. For that reason, research and post-disaster care should not focus solely on mental health problems among survivors. Future studies that provide insight into factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of physical symptoms, such as cognitions and psychological problems, will be valuable from both a scientific and therapeutic perspective.


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© Bohn Stafleu van Loghum 2008

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