Measuring psychological resilience to disasters: are evidence-based indicators - an achievable goal? (20 page pdf, Jose Manuel Rodriguez-Llanes, Femke Vos, Debarati Guha-Sapir, Environmental Health , Dec. 20, 2013)
Today we review the ways that resilience can be measured and in particular, psychological resilience, based on a literature review of this factor in various scenarios and disasters. Unlike many climate impact studies this research looks at human behavior and how humans react to events that present challenges. Results indicate not surprisingly that social support increased resilience, in general, while women showed a larger risk of lower psychological resilience following a disaster. These findings would be important in disaster planning especially with the higher risk of larger and larger disasters expected with the greater variability of wind, temperature and precipitation extremes from climate change.
Key Quotes :
Resilience[IPCC]: “the ability of a system and its component parts to anticipate, absorb, accommodate, or recover from the effects of a hazardous event in a timely and efficient manner, including through ensuring the preservation, restoration, or improvement of its essential basic structures and functions”
“Fifty three indicators of psychological resilience were obtained from the six empirical studies that focus exclusively on disaster settings (Table 2). The most consistent indicators of psychological resilience were social support and gender.”
“Whereas high levels of social support from relatives and friends increased all studied resilient outcomes, women were found at higher risk of suffering a worse psychological resilient outcome after a disaster.”
“evidence-based indicators should be preferable by policy makers to establish a list of priorities for data collection or targeted groups for intervention before and after disasters … should be a much more valid approach than following a strategy simply based on data availability”