Publicatie datum

Disaster and primary health care utilization: a 4 year follow-up.

Dorn, T., Yzermans, J., Kerssens, J., Veen, P. ten. Disaster and primary health care utilization: a 4 year follow-up. European Journal of Public Health: 2005, 15(Suppl. 1) 135. Abstract. 13th Annual EUPHA Meeting "Promoting the public's health: reorienting health policies, linking health promotion and health care", Graz, 10-12 November 2005.
Background: Although crucial for the management of the post-disaster phase, the impact of disasters on primary health care utilization is largely unknown. Often, pre-disaster base-line data is lacking. The current study quantified primary health care utilization after a major fire disaster in The Netherlands. In The Netherlands, 90% of the patients’ health problems are addressed in primary care. Methods: This population-based cohort study covers one year pre- and three years post-disaster. Annual utilization data were extracted from primary care records. A total of 286 disaster victims with (n = 162) and without (n = 124) burn injuries were included (mean age: 16.2 years). In addition, the victims’ family members (n = 802) were compared to community controls (n = 3722). Results: Disaster victims had elevated primary care utilization rates up to three years post-disaster. This was true for survivors with and not Not only physical injuries contribute to increased primary care utilization. Witnessing the disaster and experiencing life threat, being
bereaved or being a close family member of a survivor does also have a substantial impact on patients’ primary care needs. (aut.ref.)