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Psychological and physical morbidity in the aftermath of a cyclone

  • M. Fairley (a1), Pauline Langeluddecke (a1) and Christopher Tennant (a1)


A Fijian community affected by a cyclone was compared with an unaffected but similar community. Two months after the cyclone both psychological and physical morbidity was 2–3 times greater in the affected community than in controls. By the third month morbidity had resolved to levels similar to those in the unaffected population. Brief, catastrophic stress without loss of life appears to provoke psychological and physical morbidity of relatively brief duration.


Corresponding author

1Address for correspondence: Professor Christopher Tennant, Professorial Psychiatric Unit, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia


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