Anxiety, coping, and post-traumatic stress disorder in nurses who cared for victims of Hurricane Katrina
The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between anxiety, coping, and PTSD in nurses 30-36 months after providing care in New Orleans during and immediately after Hurricane Katrina. Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) "Cognitive Theory of Psychological Stress and Coping" served as the theoretical framework. A review of professional literature in the fields of nursing, medicine, mental health, and psychiatry was conducted, in addition to surveying government websites.
This study utilized a correlational approach to determine the relationship between anxiety, coping, and PTSD, and to determine how other demographic factors relate to the degree of anxiety, coping mechanism, and PTSD in this population. Multiple regression was used to determine whether or not coping mediated the relationship between anxiety and PTSD. It was also used to explore which variable studied was most predictive of PTSD and what the most useful buffers were against PTSD.
In a sample of 91 Hurricane Katrina nurses, both men and women had higher levels of state- and trait-anxiety when compared with established norms of the general population.