Conséquences des accidents radiologiques sur la santé mentale
Pirard, Ph.; Brenot, J.; Verger, P.
Radioprotection (Oct-Dec 1998) v. 33(no.4) p. 435-456
Technological disasters bring about psychological effects in exposed populations of various durability and intensity. This article reviews the epidemiological studies which assess psychological and psychiatric consequences of the Three Mile Island, Goieanna and Chernobyl accidents. It shows, in different accidental and cultural contexts, a statistically significant and durable increase of psychological symptoms in various exposed population groups, which points out an actual psychological distress. Diagnosed psychiatric effects are less constant, but much less studied. Most affected groups are mothers of young children, relocated persons, persons with less social support or in financial trouble. The psychological distress can further psychiatric disorders and give rise to behavioural changes towards health. More research is necessary to delineate the nature and the determinants of the observed symptoms and disorders. It implies to design better tools for the assessment of individual exposure and the diagnosis of mental health effects.