Alexander C. McFarlane, MB BS (Hons), MD, FRANZCP, Dip Psychother and Miranda Van Hooff, BA (Hons)
The Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health, University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Correspondence: Miranda Van Hooff, Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health, Level 2/122 Frome Street, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia. Email: email@example.com
Declaration of interest
This research was supported by a project grant from the AustralianNational Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC ProjectGrant ID 201813 and program grant 300403).
Studies examining the impact of childhood disaster exposureon the development of adult psychopathology report increasedrates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychopathology.
To examine the rates of PTSD and other lifetime DSMIVdisorders in adults exposed to an Australian bushfire disasteras children in 1983 using a matched control sample recruitedat the time of the original study.
A total of 1011 adults recruited from an original sample of1531 were assessed 20 years following the fires using the CompositeInternational Diagnostic Interview (CIDI2.1).
Results showed only a small direct impact of the fires on adultpsychiatric morbidity. A higher proportion of bushfire survivorsmet criteria for `any DSMIV disorder’ and `any anxiety’.
Findings suggest that the long-term impact of a prominent traumain childhood should be assessed in the context of other lifetimetrauma in order to provide a more accurate account of PTSDprevalence rates.