A Systematic Review of the Health Impacts of Mass Earth Movements (Landslides)

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Landslides cause significant mental health impacts, in particular the prevalence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may be higher after landslides than other types of disaster.

Mass ground movements (commonly referred to as ‘landslides’) are common natural hazards that can have significant economic, social and health impacts. They occur as single events, or as clusters, and are often part of ‘disaster’ chains, occurring secondary to, or acting as the precursor of other disaster events. Whilst there is a large body of literature on the engineering and geological aspects of landslides, the mortality and morbidity caused by landslides is less well documented even though reports on mortality due to landslides have highlighted human deaths as being substantially higher than had been previously estimated with only one study providing detail of the causes of mortality and morbidity in relation a landslide event. Landslides cause significant mental health impacts, in particular the prevalence of PTSD may be higher after landslides than other types of disaster, though these studies tend to be older with only 3 papers published in the last 5 years, with 2 being published 20 years ago, and diagnostic criteria have changed since they were produced.

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