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Symptom attribution after a plane crash: comparison between self-reported symptoms and GP records.
Br J Gen Pract. 2002 Nov; 52(484):917-22.BJ

Abstract

BACKGROUND

On 4 October 1992, an El Al Boeing 747-F cargo aeroplane crashed on two apartment buildings in Amsterdam. Thirty-nine residents on the ground and the four crew members of the plane died. In the years after, a gradually increasing number of people attributed physical signs and symptoms to their presence at the disaster scene.

AIM

To investigate the consistency between patients' symptoms attributed to the crash and GPs' diagnoses and perception of the association with the crash.

DESIGN OF STUDY

Comparison between self-reported symptoms to a call centre and GPs' medical records on onset and type of symptoms, diagnoses, and GPs' perception of association with the disaster, assessed by questionnaire.

SETTING

Consenting patients (n = 621) contacting the call centre and their GPs.

METHOD

Patients were interviewed by the call centre staff and interview data were recorded on a database. Questionnaires were sent to the consenting patients' GPs, requesting their opinions on whether or not their patients' symptoms were attributable to the effects of disaster. Baseline differences and differences in reported symptoms between interviewed patients and their GP records were tested using the chi2 test.

RESULTS

The 553 responders reported on average 4.3 symptoms to the call centre. The majority of these symptoms (74%) were reported to the GP. Of the ten most commonly reported symptoms, fatigue, skin complaints, feeling anxious or nervous, dyspnoea, and backache featured in 80% of symptoms reported to the GP. One out of four symptoms was either reported to the GP before the disaster took place, or six or more years after (1998/1999, during a period of much media attention). Depression (7%), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (5%) and eczema (5%) were most frequently diagnosed by GPs. They related 6% of all reported symptoms to the disaster.

CONCLUSIONS

Most of the symptoms attributed to a disaster by patients have been reported to their GP, who related only a small proportion of these to the disaster.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL), Utrecht. ge.donker@inter.nl.netNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

12434961

Citation

Donker, G A., et al. "Symptom Attribution After a Plane Crash: Comparison Between Self-reported Symptoms and GP Records." The British Journal of General Practice : the Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, vol. 52, no. 484, 2002, pp. 917-22.
Donker GA, Yzermans CJ, Spreeuwenberg P, et al. Symptom attribution after a plane crash: comparison between self-reported symptoms and GP records. Br J Gen Pract. 2002;52(484):917-22.
Donker, G. A., Yzermans, C. J., Spreeuwenberg, P., & van der Zee, J. (2002). Symptom attribution after a plane crash: comparison between self-reported symptoms and GP records. The British Journal of General Practice : the Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, 52(484), 917-22.
Donker GA, et al. Symptom Attribution After a Plane Crash: Comparison Between Self-reported Symptoms and GP Records. Br J Gen Pract. 2002;52(484):917-22. PubMed PMID: 12434961.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Symptom attribution after a plane crash: comparison between self-reported symptoms and GP records. AU - Donker,G A, AU - Yzermans,C J, AU - Spreeuwenberg,P, AU - van der Zee,J, PY - 2002/11/19/pubmed PY - 2002/12/27/medline PY - 2002/11/19/entrez SP - 917 EP - 22 JF - The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners JO - Br J Gen Pract VL - 52 IS - 484 N2 - BACKGROUND: On 4 October 1992, an El Al Boeing 747-F cargo aeroplane crashed on two apartment buildings in Amsterdam. Thirty-nine residents on the ground and the four crew members of the plane died. In the years after, a gradually increasing number of people attributed physical signs and symptoms to their presence at the disaster scene. AIM: To investigate the consistency between patients' symptoms attributed to the crash and GPs' diagnoses and perception of the association with the crash. DESIGN OF STUDY: Comparison between self-reported symptoms to a call centre and GPs' medical records on onset and type of symptoms, diagnoses, and GPs' perception of association with the disaster, assessed by questionnaire. SETTING: Consenting patients (n = 621) contacting the call centre and their GPs. METHOD: Patients were interviewed by the call centre staff and interview data were recorded on a database. Questionnaires were sent to the consenting patients' GPs, requesting their opinions on whether or not their patients' symptoms were attributable to the effects of disaster. Baseline differences and differences in reported symptoms between interviewed patients and their GP records were tested using the chi2 test. RESULTS: The 553 responders reported on average 4.3 symptoms to the call centre. The majority of these symptoms (74%) were reported to the GP. Of the ten most commonly reported symptoms, fatigue, skin complaints, feeling anxious or nervous, dyspnoea, and backache featured in 80% of symptoms reported to the GP. One out of four symptoms was either reported to the GP before the disaster took place, or six or more years after (1998/1999, during a period of much media attention). Depression (7%), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (5%) and eczema (5%) were most frequently diagnosed by GPs. They related 6% of all reported symptoms to the disaster. CONCLUSIONS: Most of the symptoms attributed to a disaster by patients have been reported to their GP, who related only a small proportion of these to the disaster. SN - 0960-1643 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/12434961/Symptom_attribution_after_a_plane_crash:_comparison_between_self_reported_symptoms_and_GP_records_ L2 - https://bjgp.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=12434961 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -