Acute postdisaster psychiatric disorders: identification of persons at risk

Am J Psychiatry. 1990 Feb;147(2):202-6. doi: 10.1176/ajp.147.2.202.


This study examined the prevalence of four psychiatric disorders--posttraumatic stress disorder, major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and alcohol abuse/dependence--in survivors of a jet plane crash into a hotel. Forty-six subjects were interviewed with the Diagnostic Interview Schedule/Disaster Supplement within 4-6 weeks of the event. More than half of the subjects met criteria for a psychiatric disorder after the disaster. More than two-thirds of the cases of acute postdisaster psychiatric disorders were predicted by identifying the subjects who had predisaster psychiatric histories. Predisaster psychiatric disorder predicted postdisaster psychopathology with a sensitivity of 72% and a specificity of 90%.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / etiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / etiology
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Disasters*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology