Intoduction 1 year after the earthquake in L'Aquila, all Abruzzo Local Health Units (LHU) with the University of L'Aquila, the Italian institute for health and the support of the Ministry of health, carried out a survey on midterm consequences of the earthquake on health. The analysis, based on the behavioural risk factors surveillance system PASSI, was aimed at assessing the prevalence of symptoms of depression and anxiety in adults, at monitoring health related behaviour and the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with the objective to establish a knowledge base for better informed public health decisions.
Methods From June to October 2010, 958 people living in earthquake area were interviewed by phone (response rate 95%), using the properly modified PASSI questionnaire.
Results 92% of interviewees were in the earthquake area at time of event; 5% were injured; 10% knew an injured person, 40% knew a person killed by the earthquake among their relatives or friends, 35% had to leave their home due to severe damage, 45% reported economic losses and 15% lost their job. 22% were displaced in a temporary public accommodation. 4% met the definition of PTSD and 16% of depression, higher for women and 50–69 aged years old.
Conclusion The study provides an estimate of non-traumatic consequences of the earthquake, otherwise neglected but financially covered by the NHS, and is a useful tool for public health needs assessment and planning in case of a disaster.
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