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The Mental Health Outcomes of Drought: A Systematic Review and Causal Process Diagram.

Vins H, Bell J, Saha S, Hess JJ - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2015)

Bottom Line: The systematic review results were synthesized to create a causal process diagram that illustrates the pathways linking drought effects to mental health outcomes.The pathways in the causal process diagram with greatest support in the literature are those focusing on the economic and migratory effects of drought.The use of a causal process diagram provides a much needed avenue for integrating the findings of diverse research to further the understanding of the mental health implications of drought.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Health, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. hollyvins@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT
Little is understood about the long term, indirect health consequences of drought (a period of abnormally dry weather). In particular, the implications of drought for mental health via pathways such as loss of livelihood, diminished social support, and rupture of place bonds have not been extensively studied, leaving a knowledge gap for practitioners and researchers alike. A systematic review of literature was performed to examine the mental health effects of drought. The systematic review results were synthesized to create a causal process diagram that illustrates the pathways linking drought effects to mental health outcomes. Eighty-two articles using a variety of methods in different contexts were gathered from the systematic review. The pathways in the causal process diagram with greatest support in the literature are those focusing on the economic and migratory effects of drought. The diagram highlights the complexity of the relationships between drought and mental health, including the multiple ways that factors can interact and lead to various outcomes. The systematic review and resulting causal process diagram can be used in both practice and theory, including prevention planning, public health programming, vulnerability and risk assessment, and research question guidance. The use of a causal process diagram provides a much needed avenue for integrating the findings of diverse research to further the understanding of the mental health implications of drought.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Migratory effects of drought upon mental health.
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ijerph-12-13251-f005: Migratory effects of drought upon mental health.

Mentions: Looking at the pathway from a different angle, the migratory effects of drought also have implications for mental health that are well supported in the literature, with the systematic review identifying 28 papers related to this pathway. Migration away from drought-stricken communities with depressed economies can lead to a reduction in community resources, services, and support systems [45,52,54,56,61,70,76,88]. Altered family and community structures coupled with social and geographical isolation can also be issues for those who emigrate and those left behind, and may lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression [50,53,58,67,72]. Poor reception of immigrants by receiving communities has been observed [73,89,90,91]. A feedback loop may be of particular concern in this situation, with drought spurring migration and contributing to the erosion of the resource base, which in turn amplifies the effects of drought upon the community and pushes more people to leave. In such a case, a lack of resources is not only caused by drought, but is also an issue that makes drought more difficult to cope with [56]. Figure 5 focuses on the migratory effects pathway.


The Mental Health Outcomes of Drought: A Systematic Review and Causal Process Diagram.

Vins H, Bell J, Saha S, Hess JJ - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2015)

Migratory effects of drought upon mental health.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4627029&req=5

ijerph-12-13251-f005: Migratory effects of drought upon mental health.
Mentions: Looking at the pathway from a different angle, the migratory effects of drought also have implications for mental health that are well supported in the literature, with the systematic review identifying 28 papers related to this pathway. Migration away from drought-stricken communities with depressed economies can lead to a reduction in community resources, services, and support systems [45,52,54,56,61,70,76,88]. Altered family and community structures coupled with social and geographical isolation can also be issues for those who emigrate and those left behind, and may lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression [50,53,58,67,72]. Poor reception of immigrants by receiving communities has been observed [73,89,90,91]. A feedback loop may be of particular concern in this situation, with drought spurring migration and contributing to the erosion of the resource base, which in turn amplifies the effects of drought upon the community and pushes more people to leave. In such a case, a lack of resources is not only caused by drought, but is also an issue that makes drought more difficult to cope with [56]. Figure 5 focuses on the migratory effects pathway.

Bottom Line: The systematic review results were synthesized to create a causal process diagram that illustrates the pathways linking drought effects to mental health outcomes.The pathways in the causal process diagram with greatest support in the literature are those focusing on the economic and migratory effects of drought.The use of a causal process diagram provides a much needed avenue for integrating the findings of diverse research to further the understanding of the mental health implications of drought.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Health, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. hollyvins@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT
Little is understood about the long term, indirect health consequences of drought (a period of abnormally dry weather). In particular, the implications of drought for mental health via pathways such as loss of livelihood, diminished social support, and rupture of place bonds have not been extensively studied, leaving a knowledge gap for practitioners and researchers alike. A systematic review of literature was performed to examine the mental health effects of drought. The systematic review results were synthesized to create a causal process diagram that illustrates the pathways linking drought effects to mental health outcomes. Eighty-two articles using a variety of methods in different contexts were gathered from the systematic review. The pathways in the causal process diagram with greatest support in the literature are those focusing on the economic and migratory effects of drought. The diagram highlights the complexity of the relationships between drought and mental health, including the multiple ways that factors can interact and lead to various outcomes. The systematic review and resulting causal process diagram can be used in both practice and theory, including prevention planning, public health programming, vulnerability and risk assessment, and research question guidance. The use of a causal process diagram provides a much needed avenue for integrating the findings of diverse research to further the understanding of the mental health implications of drought.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus