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Long term quality of life after a wildfire disaster in a rural part of Greece

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Author(s): Vicky Papanikolaou | Dimitrios Adamis | John Kyriopoulos

Journal: Open Journal of Psychiatry
ISSN 2161-7325

Volume: 02;
Issue: 02;
Start page: 164;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Quality of Life | Disasters | Wildfires | Greece | Adults | WHOQOL-BREF

ABSTRACT
Purpose: The main aims of this study were to evaluate the quality of life of wildfire victims and compare it with that of a control sample of people unaffected by the disaster, and to identify confounder factors (previous psychiatric caseness, demographic factors and losses) which may influence the quality of life. Methods: This was a cross sectional case-control study. Participants belonged to an adult population which had taken part in a previous study 6 months after the disaster. The measured variables were: 1) quality of life using the WHOQOL-BREF measure, 2) previous psychiatric caseness as identified using the SCL-90-R and 3) demographics. Results: Victims of the wildfires had a statistically significant poorer quality of life in the three domains of physical health, psychological health, and environment compared to controls. After adjusting for other variables, the only difference between victims and controls was in the environment domain. Conclusions: Disasters have long lasting effects on victims. Psychological and physical health may improve after some time but environmental quality of life may need longer. However, it is not known yet if the environmental aspect of quality of life could affect other aspects such as psychological health or social relationships in the future.
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