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Physical and mental health symptom assessment in New Orleans Police Department personnel 15 months after Hurricane Katrina.
West-C; Mueller-C; Bernard-B; Driscoll-R
Int J Occup Environ Health 2009 Oct; 15(4):416
The HHE Program responded to a request for assistance concerning continuing respiratory, gastrointestinal, and mental health symptoms among New Orleans Police Department personnel who responded to Hurricane Katrina. Fifteen months after Hurricane Katrina, HHE Program investigators conducted a survey of physical and mental symptoms and compared the responses of participants who also completed a previous NIOSH survey done two months after the hurricane response. Investigators found the prevalence of upper respiratory symptoms, cough, post traumatic stress disorder, and depressive symptoms were similar at both surveys. Investigators also found that more gastrointestinal symptoms and lower respiratory symptoms were reported in the second survey. Reporting respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms was significantly associated with reporting symptoms of depression and post traumatic stress disorder. HHE Program investigators recommended that managers continue to encourage personnel with ongoing symptoms to seek follow-up with a healthcare provider and that an employee assistance program be implemented for those in need of ongoing psychological support. Investigators also recommended that pre- and post-exposure medical screening be conducted for personnel involved in disaster response and that existing disaster preparedness programs address health and safety needs of responding personnel. The final report is available at: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2007-0067-3076.pdf.
Region-6; Respiratory-system-disorders; Respiratory-irritants; Lung-irritants; Psychological-effects; Psychological-responses; Psychological-stress; Mental-health; Mental-illness; Gastrointestinal-system-disorders; Law-enforcement; Law-enforcement-workers; Police-officers; Emergency-responders
Issue of Publication
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division