Novel study examines pre-existing predictors of post-traumatic stress symptoms in aftermath of disaster

Hurricane Katrina survivor

The Resilience in Survivors of Katrina Study (RISK) study has followed a cohort of low-income parents from a year before (baseline) exposure to Hurricane Katrina, and then 1, 4 and 12 years post disaster in order to learn more about the short- and long-term impacts. The findings of this study published in PLOS ONE contribute to the body of research on exposure to disasters by confirming that people who were suffering from pre-disaster mental illness were more vulnerable to developing chronic PTSS.

“These findings support outreach efforts targeting this group both leading up to and in the aftermath of disaster.”

— Study authors: Sarah R. Lowe, Ethan J. Raker, Mary C. Waters, Jean E. Rhodes