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Psychosociological effects of the 2001 UK foot and mouth disease epidemic in a rural population:Qualitative diary based study

Mort, Margaret and Convery, Ian and Baxter, Josephine and Bailey, Catherine (2005) Psychosociological effects of the 2001 UK foot and mouth disease epidemic in a rural population:Qualitative diary based study. BMJ (British Medical Journal), 331 (7527). pp. 1234-1237.

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Abstract

Objectives To understand the health and social consequences of the 2001 foot and mouth disease epidemic for a rural population. Design Longitudinal qualitative analysis. Setting North Cumbria, the worst affected area in Britain. Sample Purposive sample of 54 respondents divided in six demographically balanced rural occupational and population groups. Main outcome measures 3071 weekly diaries contributed over 18 months; 72 semistructured interviews (with the 54 diarists and 18 others); 12 group discussions with diarists Results The disease epidemic was a human tragedy, not just an animal one. Respondents' reports showed that life after the foot and mouth disease epidemic was accompanied by distress, feelings of bereavement, fear of a new disaster, loss of trust in authority and systems of control, and the undermining of the value of local knowledge. Distress was experienced across diverse groups well beyond the farming community. Many of these effects continued to feature in the diaries throughout the 18 month period. Conclusions The use of a rural citizens' panel allowed data capture from a wide spectrum of the rural population and showed that a greater number of workers and residents had traumatic experiences than has previously been reported. Recommendations for future disaster management include joint service reviews of what counts as a disaster, regular NHS and voluntary sector sharing of intelligence, debriefing and peer support for front line workers, increased community involvement in disposal site or disaster management, and wider, more flexible access to regeneration funding and rural health outreach work.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: BMJ (British Medical Journal)
Additional Information: This article was the subject of a press release by the British Medical Journal editor and resulted in more than 100 media reports. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Social Work and Social Policy & Administration
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
Faculty of Health and Medicine > Medicine
Faculty of Health and Medicine > Health Research
ID Code: 3350
Deposited By: ep_importer
Deposited On: 19 Mar 2008 11:10
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2013 08:21
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/3350

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