Quasi-Experimental Evaluation Of Text-Based Crisis Patterns In Youth Following Hurricane Florence In The Carolinas, 2018

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kurt D. Michael Ph.D, Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: Importance: Crisis text lines have proven to be an effective and low-cost means for delivering texting-based mental health support to youth. Yet there has been limited research examining the use of these services in capturing the psychological impact of youth affected by a weather-related disaster. Objective: This ecologic study examined changes in help-seeking behavior for youth in North and South Carolina, USA, before and after Hurricane Florence (2018). Design and Main Outcomes: A retrospective, interrupted time-series design was used to examine pre- and post-hurricane changes in crisis text volume among youth help seekers in the Carolinas for the following outcomes: (1) text for any reason; (2) stress & anxiety; (3) depression; and (4) suicidal thoughts. Results: Results showed an immediate and sustained increase in crisis texts for stress/anxiety and suicidal thoughts in the six weeks following Florence. Overall, an immediate 15% increase in crisis texts for anxiety/stress (SE=.05, p=0.005) and a 17% increase in suicidal thoughts (SE=.07, p=0.02) occurred during the week of the storm. Text volume for anxiety/stress increased 17% (SE=.08, p=0.005) and 23% for suicidal ideation (SE=.08, p=0.01) in the 6-week post-intervention period. Finally, forecast models revealed observed text volume for all mental health outcomes was higher than expected in the 6 weeks post-Florence. Conclusions and Relevance: A low-cost, crisis texting intervention platform provided 24/7 mental health support available to young people in the Carolinas impacted by Hurricane Florence. These findings highlight a new application for text-based crisis support services to address the mental health consequences among individuals following a weather-related disaster.

Additional Information

Runkle, J., Michael, K., Stevens, S., & Sugg, M. (2020, April 15). Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of Text-based Crisis Patterns in Youth following Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, 2018. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/auq5x. Publisher version of record available at: https://psyarxiv.com/auq5x/
Language: English
Date: 2020
youth, weather-related disasters, mental health, Crisis text Line, text-based crisis support, interrupted-time series

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