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Stories behind the symptoms: a qualitative analysis of the narratives of 9/11 rescue and recovery workers.

Authors
Bills-CB; Dodson-N; Stellman-JM; Southwick-S; Sharma-V; Herbert-R; Moline-JM; Katz-CL
Source
Psychiatr Q 2009 Sep; 80(3):173-189
NIOSHTIC No.
20036702
Abstract
A qualitative study of the experiences of rescue and recovery workers/volunteers at Ground Zero following the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 is reported. Information was extracted from a semi-structured clinical evaluation of 416 responders who were the initial participants in a large scale medical and mental health screening and treatment program for 9/11 responders. Qualitative analysis revealed themes that spanned four categories- occupational roles, exposures, attitudes/experiences, and outcomes related to the experience of Ground Zero. Themes included details regarding Ground Zero roles, grotesque experiences such as smells, the sense of the surreal nature of responding, and a turning to rituals to cope after leaving Ground Zero. These findings personalize the symptom reports and diagnoses that have resulted from the 9/11 responders' exposure to Ground Zero, yielding richer information than would otherwise be available for addressing the psychological dimensions of disasters. This work shows that large scale qualitative surveillance of trauma-exposed populations is both relevant and feasible.
Keywords
Emergency-responders; Fire-fighters; Police-officers; Paramedical-services; Surveillance-programs; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Psychological-effects; Psychological-reactions; Psychological-adaptation; Author Keywords: Mental health; Trauma; 9/11; Responders; Disaster; World Trade Center; Qualitative analysis
Contact
C. L. Katz, Department of Psychiatry, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Box 1230, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029, USA
CODEN
PSQUAP
Publication Date
20090901
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
craig.katz@mssm.edu
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Contract
Fiscal Year
2009
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U10-OH-008216; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U10-OH-008223; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U10-OH-008225; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U10-OH-008232; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U10-OH-008275; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U10-OH-008239
Issue of Publication
3
ISSN
0033-2720
Source Name
The Psychiatric quarterly
State
NY; IL; CT
Performing Organization
State University of New York Stony Brook
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