This study analyzed trajectories of initial stress and long-term mental health after the 1980 North Sea oil rig disaster. A growth-mixture model of the survivors' stress manifestations in the first 8 weeks (Posttraumatic Stress Scale, [PTSS-10]) and general mental health in 1980, 1981, 1985, and 2007 (General Health Questionnaire, [GHQ-20]) was estimated. Survivors' GHQ-scores in 1985 and 2007 were contrasted to those of a comparison group. Four trajectories were identified among survivors. The resilient (n = 43) displayed initially moderate stress that rapidly declined. The recovery (n = 10), chronic (n = 8), and relapse (n = 9) showed initially stable high stress scores, but the long-term mental health differed. Early screening may identify those at long-term risk.
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