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Disabled and other vulnerable groups more susceptible to terrorism fears
Date:5/26/2009

ountry's alert level at that time, as well as how often they worried about terrorist attacks and how often they avoided activities because of those fears.

Researchers found that the mentally ill, the disabled, African Americans, Latinos, Chinese Americans, Korean Americans and non-U.S. citizens were likelier to think the HSAS alert level was higher than it was, and to worry more and change their behavior due to those fears.

These findings present evidence that the structure of the HSAS alerts need to be reevaluated in part to ensure that terrorism alerts better reach these vulnerable populations, Eisenman said. Also, vulnerable groups need assistance to help them reduce their fears and avoidance. Ensuring that structures can be safely evacuated in the event of a terrorist act, for example, can help reduce some of these fears among the physically disabled.

"Terrorism-related fears and avoidant behavior can be considered part of the 'disaster burden' the amount of adverse health effects ranging from loss of well-being or security to injury, illness or death caused by a disaster associated with terrorism and national terrorism policies," the researchers conclude. "The disaster burden associated with terrorism and consequent policies may fall disproportionately on the vulnerable groups we studied."


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Contact: Enrique Rivero
erivero@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2273
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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