J Korean Med Sci.  2019 Jan;34(4):e29. 10.3346/jkms.2019.34.e29.

Psychological Responses among Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster Victims and Their Families

Affiliations
  • 1National Center for Trauma, National Center for Mental Health, Seoul, Korea. mdsim@hanmail.net
  • 2Department of Stress and Anxiety Disorder, National Center for Mental Health, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, National Center for Mental Health, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 6Department of Pediatrics, Childhood Asthma Atopy Center, Environmental Health Center, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

To substantiate psychological symptoms following humidifier disinfectant (HD) disasters, counseling records of 26 victims and 92 family members of victims (45 were bereaved) were analyzed retrospectively. Among the victims, 34.6% had Clinical Global Impression-Severity scores of over 4, which meant they were moderately ill. While anxiety/fear and depression with respiratory symptoms were frequently observed in victims and family members, chronic psychological distress such as alcohol/smoking abuse and insomnia was relatively high in bereaved family members. In conclusion, it is important to provide mental health support for victims and their families, focusing on the characteristic symptoms of each group as well as monetary compensation.

Keyword

Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster; Humidifier Disinfectant-associated Lung Injury; Victims and Families; Psychological Response; Toxic Chemical Substances
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