Somatic symptoms after a natural disaster: a prospective study

Am J Psychiatry. 1992 Jul;149(7):965-7. doi: 10.1176/ajp.149.7.965.


The authors prospectively examined the prevalence of somatization symptoms among community respondents after a natural disaster in Puerto Rico. Exposure to the disaster was related to a higher prevalence of medically unexplained physical symptoms, particularly gastrointestinal ones (abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, excessive gas) and pseudoneurological ones (amnesia, paralysis, fainting, unusual spells/double vision).

MeSH terms

  • Disasters*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Nervous System Diseases / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Puerto Rico / epidemiology
  • Research Design / standards
  • Somatoform Disorders / epidemiology*