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Phenomenological study of the North Dakota flood experience and its impact on survivors' health



Phenomenological study of the North Dakota flood experience and its impact on survivors' health



International Journal of Trauma Nursing 4(3): 79-84



Grand Forks, North Dakota, was devastated by an unprecedented flood, forcing the evacuation of an entire community of 50,000 residents in 72 hours. A qualitative descriptive study with use of phenomenological methods was conducted 6 months after the flooding. Its purpose was to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of a traumatic flood experience and its influence on the health of the residents of Grand Forks. Data were generated through interviews, observations, and media reports. The sample included 3 female and 3 male residents of the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota, who ranged in age from 26 to 77 years. Five essential themes were identified: (1) shock and disbelief, (2) uncertainty, (3) grief and loss, (4) emotional exhaustion, and (5) hope and meaning. The participants' descriptions of emotional exhaustion were similar to those found with survivors of posttraumatic stress disorder. Older adults appeared to be especially vulnerable. Nurses who are aware of the effects of natural disasters, particularly flooding, may be better able to identify vulnerable populations and understand the health needs of other survivors.

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Accession: 046973449

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9855973

DOI: 10.1016/s1075-4210(98)90073-6


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