Comparison of post-disaster psychiatric disorders after terrorist bombings in Nairobi and Oklahoma City.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: African disaster-affected populations are poorly represented in disaster mental health literature. AIMS: To compare systematically assessed mental health in populations directly exposed to terrorist bombing attacks on two continents, North America and Africa. METHOD: Structured diagnostic interviews compared citizens exposed to bombings of the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya (n=227) and the Oklahoma City Federal Building (n=182). RESULTS: Prevalence rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression were similar after the bombings. No incident (new since the bombing) alcohol use disorders were observed in either site. Symptom group C was strongly associated with PTSD in both sites. The Nairobi group relied more on religious support and the Oklahoma City group used more medical treatment, drugs and alcohol. CONCLUSIONS: Post-disaster psychopathology had many similarities in the two cultures; however, coping responses and treatment were quite different. The findings suggest potential for international generalisability of post-disaster psychopathology, but confirmatory studies are needed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • North, CS; Pfefferbaum, B; Narayanan, P; Thielman, S; McCoy, G; Dumont, C; Kawasaki, A; Ryosho, N; Kim, Y-S; Spitznagel, EL

Published Date

  • June 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 186 /

Start / End Page

  • 487 - 493

PubMed ID

  • 15928359

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0007-1250

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1192/bjp.186.6.487


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England