A prospective study on changes in health status following flood disaster

Ji Hoon Heo, Min Hyuk Kim, Sang Back Koh, Samuel Noh, Joon Ho Park, Joung Sook Ahn, Ki Chang Park, Seongho Min

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: We examined changes in general health status the prevalence of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and the existence of pre-trauma contributing factors in an agricultural population following a massive flood. Methods: Eighty-three of 160 residents of Garisan-ni, Inje-gun, Gangwon-do, were assessed using the Korean version of the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36-K) between April and June 2006, just prior to a massive flood. Among those initially assessed, 58 residents were available for follow-up 18 months after the flood. Participants completed the SF-36-K, Beck Depression Index (BDI), Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) - PTSD, and the Korean version of the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) to detect depression and PTSD. Trauma experiences were also assessed. Factors related to changes in health status were then analyzed. Results: SP-36-K total scale scores decreased significantly, suggesting a significant reduction in health-related quality of life. The largest reductions were noted in physical and social functioning. Fifty-three percent of the subjects were at least mildly depressed, and 17% had severe depression. In addition, 22% had PTSD on both the IES-R and MMPI-PTSD. Factors that contributed to the deterioration of health status following the flood were the number of disaster events and existence of depression (as assessed by the BDI). Conclusion: The flood was found to lead to deterioration of health status and to provoke depression and PTSD among the agricultural population in the mountainous region. We suggest that the number of disaster event experiences and existence of depression contriuted to changes in health status after the flood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-192
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Investigation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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