This paper presents interview survey data by social scientists using established health measures on the health effects of flooding for residents in 30 locations in England and Wales. Firstly, it examines the extent to which flooded residents reported suffering physical and psychological health effects during and after the event. Secondly, it explores the issue of whether these effects were long-lasting by comparisons with the general population and with those at risk but not flooded. In the study, about two thirds of the flood victims were found to have scores on the General Health Questionnaire-12 scale indicative of mental health problems (scores of 4+) at their worst time after flooding. The evidence of the study also suggests that some flood victims suffered long term mental health effects as a result of their experience of flooding. The study examines the influence of a wide range of factors: characteristics of the flood event, types of property, and socio-demographic and the intervening factors such as the extent of family or community support that may explain the health effects of flooding. It finds that a complex set of social and other factors are involved and that some factors susceptible to human intervention such as having adequate flood insurance cover are important factors in the stress experienced by flood victims.
The health effects of flooding: social research results from England and Wales
Sylvia Tunstall, Sue Tapsell, Colin Green, Peter Floyd, Carolyn George; The health effects of flooding: social research results from England and Wales. J Water Health 1 September 2006; 4 (3): 365–380. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wh.2006.031
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