Psychological distress following wildfires disaster in a rural part of Greece: a case-control population-based study

Int J Emerg Ment Health. 2011;13(1):11-26.


Psychological distress is common in the aftermath of a disaster. This study investigated psychological distress and morbidity in individuals who had experienced severe exposure to a wildfire disaster in a part of Greece. The study was a cross sectional case control of an adult population (18-65 years old). Face to face interviews were used in the collection of the data which were demographics, the type and number of losses and the Symptom Checklist 90-Revised for assessment of psychological symptoms. The results showed that those exposed to wildfires disaster scored significantly higher on the symptoms of somatization, depression, anxiety, hostility, phobic anxiety, and paranoia; had significantly more symptoms of psychopathology and were more distressed, compared to controls. Risk factors for potential psychiatric cases were those exposed to disaster; those who had lower education, and those who were widowed. It was concluded that wildfires may cause considerable psychological symptoms comparable to other disasters and there are reasons to create services to help and improve the mental health of those affected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Checklist
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disasters*
  • Female
  • Fires*
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Young Adult