Publication Details

Stevens, G. J., Dunsmore, J. C., Agho, K. E., Taylor, M. R., Jones, A. L., Van Ritten, J. J. & Raphael, B. (2013). Long-term health and wellbeing of people affected by the 2002 Bali bombing. Medical Journal of Australia, 198 (5), 273-277.


Objective: To examine the physical and mental health status of individuals directly affected by the 2002 Bali bombing, 8 years after the incident. Design, setting and participants: Cross-sectional study of people directly exposed to and/or bereaved by the 2002 Bali bombing who had participated in a New South Wales Health therapeutic support program. Telephone interviews were conducted during July - November 2010. The sample was weighted to reflect the population of interest, registered participants in the program (n = 115). Main outcome measures: Self-rated physical health, personal resilience (Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale), past-month psychological distress and daily functioning (Kessler Psychological Distress Scale), and traumatic stress-related symptoms (Primary Care PTSD Screen). Results: Of 81 individuals contacted, 55 responded (68%). Mean age of respondents was 50 years (range, 20-73 years), 32 were female, and seven were physically injured in the bombing. Most (45/55) reported good physical health, but 12 were experiencing high or very high levels of psychological distress. Being injured in the attack was associated with current functional impairment (P = 0.04) and very high levels of distress (P = 0.005). Lower distress was associated with perceived family support (P = 0.03) and being in a marital or de facto relationship (P = 0.02). Complicated grief factors were consistently associated with high psychological distress, traumatic stress-related symptoms and lower personal resilience. Conclusions: Eight years after the bombing, directly affected individuals had good physical health but relatively high rates of psychological distress. Marital or de facto relationships and perceived family support appear to be protective factors against long-term distress. Bereavement factors were the strongest correlates of trauma symptoms and distress. Outreach and screening programs incorporating complicated grief items may be useful in the longer-term support of such individuals.



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