Unique and Related Predictors of Major Depressive Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Their Comorbidity After Hurricane Katrina


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Abstract

The current study examined demographic and psychosocial factors that predict major depressive disorder (MDD) and comorbid MDD/posttraumatic stress disorder (MDD/PTSD) diagnostic status after Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. This study expanded on the findings published in the article by Galea, Tracy, Norris, and Coffey (J Trauma Stress 21:357–368, 2008), which examined the same predictors for PTSD, to better understand related and unique predictors of MDD, PTSD, and MDD/PTSD comorbidity. A total of 810 individuals representative of adult residents living in the 23 southernmost counties of Mississippi before Hurricane Katrina were interviewed. Ongoing hurricane-related stressors, low social support, and hurricane-related financial loss were common predictors of MDD, PTSD, and MDD/PTSD, whereas educational and marital status emerged as unique predictors of MDD. Implications for postdisaster relief efforts that address the risk for both MDD and PTSD are discussed.

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