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Health among disaster survivors and health professionals after the Haiyan Typhoon: a self-selected Internet-based web survey

Journal article
Authors K. Hugelius
M. Gifford
Per Örtenwall
A. Adolfsson
Published in International Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume 10
Issue 1
Pages 13
ISSN 1865-1372
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Surgery
Institute of Clinical Sciences
Pages 13
Language en
Keywords Disaster, Natural disaster, Disaster medicine, Disaster response, Mental health, Health professionals, Emergency Medicine
Subject categories Disaster medicine


Background: Natural disasters affected millions of people worldwide every year. Evaluation of disaster health and health response interventions is faced with several methodological challenges. This study aimed (1) to describe survivors' and health professionals' health, 30 months after a natural disaster using a web-based self-selected Internet sample survey designed and (2) to evaluate the health effects of disaster response interventions, in the present study with a focus on disaster radio. Methods: A web-based survey was used to conduct a cross-sectional study approximately 30 months after typhoon Haiyan. The GHQ-12, EQ-5D-3L, and EQ-VAS instruments were used in addition to study-specific questions. A self-selected Internet sample was recruited via Facebook. Results: In total, 443 survivors, from what 73 were health professionals, participated in the study. The Haiyan typhoon caused both physical and mental health problems as well as social consequences for the survivors. Mental health problems were more frequently reported than physical injuries. Health professionals reported worse overall health and a higher frequency of mental health problems compared to other survivors. Conclusions: There were short-term and long-term physical, psychological, and social consequences for the survivors as a result of the Haiyan typhoon. Mental health problems were more frequently reported and lasted longer than physical problems. Health professionals deployed during the disaster reported worse health, especially concerning mental health problems. The survey used was found useful to describe health after disasters. Keywords: Disaster, Natural disaster, Disaster medicine, Disaster response, Mental health, Health professionals

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