Article

European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 839-847

First online:

Determinants of Response in a Longitudinal Health Study Following the Firework-disaster in Enschede, The Netherlands

  • Marieke B.A. DijkemaAffiliated withCentre for Environmental Health Research (MGO) (Pb 10), National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)Regional Health Authority Amstelland – de Meerlanden
  • , Linda GrievinkAffiliated withCentre for Environmental Health Research (MGO) (Pb 10), National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) Email author 
  • , Rebecca K. StellatoAffiliated withCentre for Environmental Health Research (MGO) (Pb 10), National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
  • , Jan RoordaAffiliated withRegional Health Authority Twente
  • , Peter G. van der VeldenAffiliated withInstitute for Psychotrauma (IvP)

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Very few longitudinal health studies after disasters published data on the determinants of loss to follow up. However, these determinants provide important information for future disaster studies to improve their response and reduce selection bias. For this purpose we analyzed the data of a longitudinal health survey which was performed among residents and emergency workers, at 3 weeks (n = 3662) and at 18 months (n = 2769) after a major firework disaster in The Netherlands (Enschede, May 13, 2000). The response was lower among immigrants (54%) than among native Dutch (81%). Severe damage to the house due to the disaster (OR: 1.8; 95% CI: 1.1–3.0) and being involved as an emergency workers (OR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.2–3.4) were associated with higher response among native Dutch, while this was not the case among immigrants. Non-western immigrants with health problems in the first study were more likely to participate in the second study (for example physical symptoms OR: 2.5: 95% CI: 1.4–4.4), while the native Dutch with these symptoms were less likely to participate (OR: 0.7; 95% CI: 0.5–0.9). In conclusion, disaster-related characteristics were associated with higher response in native Dutch. Health problems were associated with higher response among non-western immigrants and with lower response among the native Dutch.

Keywords

Attrition Determinants Disasters Longitudinal studies Public health