Pseuchoneurotic disorders associated with the Chernobyl accident

This survey relied largely on random selection. As a rule, the attention of the specialists was directed to people with certain specific complaints. Psychogenic disorders observed in the area of the accident at the Chernobyl plant were followed and studied by a team of specialists from the USSR Ministry of Health, beginning on 29 April 1986. According to the nature of the observed stress effects and of the resultant psychic disorders, it was possible to delineate three periods: first the acute period of the disaster from the time of the accident, lasting about 10 days until completion of the evacuation of the population from the danger zone (5 May); second the intermediate delayed period, the period of comparatively early consequences (from 6 May to October 1986); and third, the period of remote consequences. In the course of the year, 1,572 people were examined. The data available indicate that the psychogenic disorders observed after the Chernobyl accident can be regarded as the consequence of a single process, the dynamics of which are determined on the one hand by the characteristics of the emergency situation and on the other by the traits and the degree of preparedness of the people involved. The special nature of the stress situation in all three periods - the threat to health - gave rise to certain characteristic clinical observations, primarily a high degree of somatization and hypochondria. An understanding of the psychological disorders affecting those who lived through the Chernobyl accident, and of their effects on the work capability and pattern of life of people at various stages after the accident, has made it possible to develop and implement a complex and refined system of prophylactic and medical measures. (author).

Author

Aleksandrovskij, Yu.A.

Descriptors

behavior; biological stress; chernobylsk-4 reactor; mental disorders; preventive medicine; public health; radiation accidents; radiation effects; accidents; diseases; enriched uranium reactors; graphite moderated reactors; lwgr type reactors; medicine; nervous system diseases; power reactors; reactors; thermal reactors

Subject Category

Actual Accidents

Source

Report; International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (Austria); Medical aspects of the Chernobyl accident; IAEA-TECDOC--516.; Jul 1988.; 381 p.; p. 283-291.

Place of Publication

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Availability

Available from INIS in electronic form.