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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2014 May;29(3):230-43.
doi: 10.1002/hup.2392. Epub 2014 Feb 19.

Psychological Functioning 1 Year After a Brief Intervention Using Micronutrients to Treat Stress and Anxiety Related to the 2011 Christchurch Earthquakes: A Naturalistic Follow-Up

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Randomized Controlled Trial

Psychological Functioning 1 Year After a Brief Intervention Using Micronutrients to Treat Stress and Anxiety Related to the 2011 Christchurch Earthquakes: A Naturalistic Follow-Up

Julia J Rucklidge et al. Hum Psychopharmacol. .

Abstract

Objective: We investigated whether micronutrients given acutely following the Christchurch earthquakes continued to confer benefit 1 year following the treatment.

Methods: Sixty-four adults from the original 91 participants experiencing heightened anxiety or stress 2-3 months following the 22nd February 2011 earthquake and who had been randomized to receive three different doses of micronutrients completed on-line questionnaires assessing mood, anxiety, stress, and symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder 1 year after completing the initial study. Twenty-one out of 29 nonrandomized controls who did not receive the treatment also completed the questionnaires.

Results: Both the treated and control groups experienced significant improvement in psychological functioning compared with end-of-trial. However, treated participants had better long-term outcomes on most measures compared with controls (ES=0.69-1.31). Those who stayed on micronutrients through to follow-up or stopped all treatment reported better psychological functioning than those who switched to other treatments including medications. About 10% of the sample continued to have post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

Conclusions: Disaster survivors improve psychologically over time regardless of receiving intervention; however, those taking micronutrients during the acute phase following a disaster show better outcomes, identifying micronutrients as a viable treatment for acute stress following a natural disaster with maintenance of benefits 1 year later. ACTRN 12611000460909

Keywords: anxiety; earthquakes; minerals; stress; treatment; vitamins.

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