Impact of a humanmade disaster on the utilization pattern of a psychiatric emergency service

David A. Fishbain, Tim E. Aldrich, Myron Goldberg, Robert C. Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In May 1980, Liberty City Miami, a black area, suffered a humanmade disaster: a riot. The effects of the riot on the utilization pattern of the only psychiatric emergency service (PES) for the Liberty City catchment area were studied in two ways: autocorrelation and cross-correlation analyses were used to determine whether PES presentations demonstrated a 7-day cycle and whether this cycle was disturbed by the riot; and analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were used to compare numerically the riot week to the preceding week, the riot week to the following 12 weeks, and the 12 pre-riot weeks to the 12 post-riot weeks. Black PES presentations did not demonstrate a statistically discernable cycle, and none of the ANOVAs were statistically significant. It was concluded that the riot did not have a significant psychiatric morbidity effect as measured by PES presentation data. These results are discussed in reference to previous disaster studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-166
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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