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Secondary disaster victims: the emotional effects of recovering and identifying human remains
Am J Psychiatry 1985;142:303-307.
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Abstract

The author conducted a questionnaire survey of the 592 U.S. Air Force personnel involved in transporting and identifying the bodies of the almost 1,000 persons who died in Jonestown, Guyana; 225 (38%) of the personnel involved returned the questionnaire, as well as 76 (22%) of 352 individuals who were not involved in the operation. The Guyana respondents reported significantly more short-term dysphoria, which was more pronounced in those younger than 25 years of age, those who were black, those who were enlisted men rather than officers, and those with more exposure to the bodies. The author discusses the implications of these findings in planning future disaster relief programs.

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