Post-disaster mental health servicing in Pacific Island communities: an integrative review

Dawes, Nathan, Franklin, Richard, McIver, Lachlan, and Obed, Jimmy (2019) Post-disaster mental health servicing in Pacific Island communities: an integrative review. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 38. 101225.

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Background: The aim of this review was to explore post-disaster mental healthcare in Pacific Island countries by describing: i) the mental health impacts following disaster; ii) general and post-disaster mental healthcare services; and iii) strategies to enhance general and post-disaster mental healthcare throughout Pacific Island communities.

Methods: A systematic approach was undertaken to search the literature. Articles describing mental health in the ethnogeographic regions of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia were included. Both thematic analyses and critical appraisal were undertaken to identify prominent themes and evaluate the quality of each article.

Results: Of the 14 articles, seven (50%) were classified as Primary Data Articles and seven were Secondary Data Articles. Seven studies focused on individual island nations and four (29%) focused on the Pacific Island region as a whole. Three articles had a global focus with reference to Pacific Island countries (21%). Six (43%) of the articles discussed post-disaster mental health impacts and eight (57%) identified the current services available to address mental illness in Pacific Island communities. Four articles (29%) proposed future strategies to improve mental healthcare in disaster-prone countries of the Pacific.

Conclusion: The review identified that post-disaster mental healthcare services are impeded by underdeveloped infrastructure, a scarcity of mental health practitioners and limited funding. Strategies are necessary to develop: i) services to address post-disaster mental health for children and other vulnerable sub-groups; ii) approaches to enhance mental health literacy in Pacific Island communities; iii) methods to decentralise mental health services, and iv) the presence of quantifiable data describing the incidence of post-disaster mental illness in the Pacific.

Item ID: 59998
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2212-4209
Keywords: Mental health, Disaster, Pacific islands, Healthcare services
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2019 07:33
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420313 Mental health services @ 50%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4516 Pacific Peoples health and wellbeing > 451617 Pacific Peoples social, cultural, emotional and spiritual wellbeing @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920407 Health Protection and/or Disaster Response @ 100%
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