Rapid Triage of Mental Health Risk in Emergency Medical Workers: Findings From Typhoon Haiyan.



To determine the ability of a novel responder mental health self-triage system to predict post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in emergency medical responders after a disaster.


Participants in this study responded to Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines in November 2013. They completed the Psychological Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (PsySTART) responder triage tool, the PTSD Checklist (PCL-5) and the Patient Health Questionnaire-8 (PHQ-8) shortly after responding to this disaster. The relationships between these 3 tools were compared to determine the association between different risk exposures while providing disaster medical care and subsequent levels of PTSD or depression.


The total number of PsySTART responder risk factors was closely related to PCL-5 scores ≥38, the threshold for clinical PTSD. Several of the PsySTART risk factors were predictive of clinical levels of PTSD as measured by the PCL-5 in this sample of deployed emergency medical responders.


The presence of a critical number and type of PsySTART responder self-triage risk factors predicted clinical levels of PTSD and subclinical depression in this sample of emergency medical workers. The ability to identify these disorders early can help categorize an at-risk subset for further timely "stepped care" interventions with the goals of both mitigating the long-term consequences and maximizing the return to resilience. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:19-22).





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Sylwanowicz, Lauren, Merritt Schreiber, Craig Anderson, Carlos Primero D Gundran, Emelie Santamaria, Jaifred Christian F Lopez, H Lam, AC Tuazon, et al. (2018). Rapid Triage of Mental Health Risk in Emergency Medical Workers: Findings From Typhoon Haiyan. Disaster medicine and public health preparedness, 12(1). pp. 19–22. 10.1017/dmp.2017.37 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/26391.

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Jaifred (Jim) Lopez


Jaifred Christian Lopez, or Jim, is a doctoral student at the Department of Population Health Sciences, Duke University. He is a clinically trained physician (licensed in the Philippines) with a master’s in public management. He now focuses on health systems research.

He is currently involved in projects related to health systems innovation within the US Veterans Health Administration, and in the global health context (through ongoing collaborations with colleagues based in the Philippines and other countries). He has been published in local and international journals and has been featured in print and mass media in the Philippines and internationally.

At Duke, he is a scholar of the Biosciences Collaborative for Research Engagement (BioCoRE) program, which aims to promote diversity and inclusion in biomedical and health sciences research. He is a founding member of the board of trustees of the Philippine Society of Public Health Physicians, Inc., founding member of the Young Physician Leaders (YPL) Alumni Steering Committee, which gathers graduates of the InterAcademy Partnership's YPL Programme, and a founding trustee of Tambalista, Inc., which aims to advance nature-based products research in the Philippines through academe-industry partnerships.


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