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Schwartz RM, Rasul R, Gargano LM, Lieberman-Cribbin W, Brackbill RM, Taioli E. J. Trauma. Stress 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Center for Disaster Health, Trauma and Resilience, New York, New York, USA.


(Copyright © 2019, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Publisher John Wiley and Sons)






Exposure to 2012's Hurricane Sandy differed by community across New York City and nearby Long Island, and the differential impact of exposure on mental health concerns must be studied to enhance resilience in vulnerable communities. We assessed the association between self-reported Hurricane Sandy exposure and subsequent posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, obtained through validated questionnaires completed by residents of lower Manhattan (n = 1,134), Queens/Long Island (LI)/Staten Island (SI; n = 622), and the Rockaways (n = 1,011); mean assessment times were 7, 14, and 32 months post-Sandy, respectively. The median number of hurricane exposures was similar for all communities; however, Rockaways residents had a higher proportion of likely PTSD symptoms (18.8%) compared to lower Manhattan (8.0%) and Queens/LI/SI residents (5.8%). Regarding likely PTSD, there was significant interaction between total hurricane exposure and community, p =.002, and flooding and community, p =.040. Number of hurricane exposures was associated with higher odds of likely PTSD in Queens/LI/SI, AOR = 1.61, 95% CI [1.34, 1.94]; lower Manhattan, AOR = 1.43, 95% CI [1.28, 1.59]; and the Rockaways, AOR = 1.25, 95% CI [1.16, 1.35]. Flooding was associated with increased odds of likely PTSD in the Rockaways, AOR = 1.65, 95% CI [1.01, 2.69]; and Queens/LI/SI, AOR = 3.29, 95% CI [1.08, 10.00]. This study emphasizes the differential impact of hurricane exposure on subsequent PTSD symptoms in three communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. Future preparedness and recovery efforts must understand community correlates of mental health concerns to promote resilience in vulnerable communities.

© 2019 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Language: en


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