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Population Trauma: Disasters 

Population Trauma: Disasters
Chapter:
Population Trauma: Disasters
Author(s):

Frederick J. Stoddard Jr.

, Robert J. Ursano

, and Stephen J. Cozza

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190457136.003.0010
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date: 28 January 2022

This chapter reviews trauma- and stressor-related disorders (TSRDs) as they relate to disaster, defined by the World Health Organization as “a severe disruption, ecological and psychosocial, which greatly exceeds the coping capacity of the affected community.” Some are human-made such as a terrorist event or shooting, while others are due to natural events such as earthquake or hurricane. Humanitarian emergencies are also a class of disasters. Since most but not all people and communities are resilient, the prevalence of TSRDs after disaster and what interventions are optimal is highly relevant to disaster recovery. The chapter discusses the impact of disaster preparedness, factors that influence how communities cope with disaster, and the effect of trauma and stress on populations. It goes on to review factors that influence susceptibility and resilience to disaster trauma, the range of psychological consequences of disaster, and early interventions for TSRDs in response to disaster.

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