Increase in the prescription rate of antidepressants after the Sewol Ferry disaster in Ansan, South Korea

Kyu Man Han, Kyoung Hoon Kim, Mikyung Lee, Sang Min Lee, Young-Hoon Ko, Jong Woo Paik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Previous pharmaco-epidemiological studies have reported increases in the prescription of psychotropic medications after a disaster, reflecting post-disaster changes in psychiatric conditions and mental health service utilization. We investigated changes in the prescription of psychotropic medications in the Danwon district of Ansan city (Ansan Danwon) compared to a control community before and after the Sewol Ferry disaster on April 16, 2014. Methods Data was collected from the Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service database. We analyzed the prescription rates of psychotropic medications including antidepressants, anxiolytics, and sedatives/hypnotics, and investigated whether the time-series pattern of monthly prescriptions per 100,000 people was different in Ansan Danwon compared to that in Cheonan city after the Sewol Ferry disaster through difference-in-differences regression analysis. Results Ansan Danwon showed a significantly greater increase (5.6%) in the prescription rate of antidepressants compared to Cheonan city following the Sewol Ferry disaster. There were no significant differences in changes in the prescription rates of anxiolytics or sedatives/hypnotics. In the secondary analysis, a significantly greater increase in the prescription rate of antipsychotics was observed in Ansan Danwon compared to a control community after the disaster. Limitations We could not exclude the possibility that other events influenced changes in the prescription rates of psychotropic medications during the study period. Conclusions Pharmaco-epidemiological studies on psychotropic medication prescription after a disaster provide important information about population-level mental health. Our results suggest that the Sewol Ferry disaster exerted a harmful effect on the mental health status of the affected community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume219
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep 1

Keywords

  • Antidepressant
  • Anxiolytics
  • Disaster
  • Mental health
  • Prescription
  • Sewol Ferry disaster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Increase in the prescription rate of antidepressants after the Sewol Ferry disaster in Ansan, South Korea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this