The symptom structure of postdisaster major depression: Convergence of evidence from 11 disaster studies using consistent methods

Carol S. North, David Baron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Agreement has not been achieved across symptom factor studies of major depressive disorder, and no studies have identified characteristic postdisaster depressive symptom structures. This study examined the symptom structure of major depression across two databases of 1181 survivors of 11 disasters studied using consistent research methods and full diagnostic assessment, addressing limitations of prior self-report symptom-scale studies. The sample included 808 directly-exposed survivors of 10 disasters assessed 1–6 months post disaster and 373 employees of 8 organizations affected by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks assessed nearly 3 years after the attacks. Consistent symptom patterns identifying postdisaster major depression were not found across the 2 databases, and database factor analyses suggested a cohesive grouping of depression symptoms. In conclusion, this study did not find symptom clusters identifying postdisaster major depression to guide the construction and validation of screeners for this disorder. A full diagnostic assessment for identification of postdisaster major depressive disorder remains necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • 9/11
  • Postdisaster major depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Development
  • Genetics
  • Psychology(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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