Psychosocial Needs Assessment among Earthquake Survivors in Lorestan Province with an Emphasis on the Vulnerable Groups

Ameneh Setareh Forouzan, Monir Baradarn Eftekhari, Katayoun Falahat, Masoumeh Dejman, Noot Heidari, Elham Habibi


Introduction: Iran is one of the ten most earthquake prone countries in the world. Earthquakes not only cause new psychological needs among the population but particularly so when one considers vulnerable groups. This in - depth study was conducted with the aim of assessing psychosocial needs six months after an earthquake happened in the west of the county in Lorestan province. Methods: This is a qualitative study using focus group discussion that focuses mainly on the vulnerable groups (women, children, elderly and disabled people) after an earthquake in Boz-azna; a village in Lorestan province in western part of Iran. Findings: Results of the psychosocial assessment indicated feelings of anxiety and worries in four vulnerable groups. Horror, hyper-excitement, avoidance and disturbing thoughts were observed in all groups with the exception of the elderly. Educational failures, loneliness and isolation were highlighted in children. All groups encountered socio-economic needs that included loss of assets and sense of insecurity and also reproductive problems were reported in women’s group. Discussion and Conclusion: Modification of a protocol on psychosocial support considering the context of the rural and urban areas with emphasis on the specific needs of the vulnerable groups is an appropriate strategy in crisis management. It seems that appropriate public awareness regarding assistance programs can be effective in reducing stress and needs of disaster survivors.

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Global Journal of Health Science   ISSN 1916-9736(Print)   ISSN 1916-9744(Online)

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