Title

Roles Changes Due to Displacement Secondary to Hurricane Katrina: A Collective Case Study

Start Time

14-10-2009 7:00 PM

End Time

14-10-2009 9:00 PM

Abstract

Disasters, such as hurricanes, have a considerable destructive impact on engagement in one’s roles. Participation in roles adds to one’s sense of identity, and disruption of role participation can lead to psychological and psychosocial problems. Hurricane Katrina evacuees, from New Orleans, Louisiana who moved to Houston, Texas, have been found to have experienced high rates of mental health issues. A primary premise of the profession of Occupational Therapy is that engagement in roles can positively mitigate the effects of the stress and trauma of a disaster. This study examined the following research questions: (a)how does displacement secondary to Hurricane Katrina affect one’s role participation? And (b)how do these role changes impact one’s daily routine? Methodology: This qualitative collective case study explored how the roles and daily routines changed for two persons, displaced to Houston from New Orleans secondary to Hurricane Katrina. Data were retrieved in one-hour long interview with participants and results were member-checked with both participants. Results: Four major themes emerged from participants’ interviews that demonstrate participants’ experiences after displacement. They include: (1) sense of loss, (2) change and adjustment, (3) importance of the family, and (4) optimism and hope for the future. Participants first experienced an immense sense of loss after displacement secondary to lost possessions, family and friends. Both participants went through negative changes and adjustments after relocation which resulted in frustration and unhappiness. However, the importance of family closeness and togetherness led participants to view living in Houston with hope and optimism for the future. Conclusions: This study illustrates how engagement in occupations can help alleviate some of the stress in displacement to a new city secondary to a hurricane. Participation in new and old occupations produced new supportive routines, and reliance on old routines facilitated occupational performance.

References

Deeny, P., & McFetridge, B. (2005). The impact of disaster on culture, self, and identity: Increased awareness by health care professionals is needed. Nursing Clinics of North America, 40(3), 431-440. DOI: 10.1016/j.cnur.2005.04.012

Dugan, B. (2007). Loss of identity in disaster: How do you say goodbye to home? Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 43(1), 41-46. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6163.2007.00105.x

Rowles, G. D. (2000). Habituation and being in place. The Occupational Therapy Journal of Research, 20(Suppl. 1), 52-67.

Scaffa, M., Gerardi, S., Herzberg, G., & McColl, M. (2006). The role of occupational therapy in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 60(6), 642-649. DOI: 10.5014/ajot.60.6.642

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Oct 14th, 7:00 PM Oct 14th, 9:00 PM

Roles Changes Due to Displacement Secondary to Hurricane Katrina: A Collective Case Study

Disasters, such as hurricanes, have a considerable destructive impact on engagement in one’s roles. Participation in roles adds to one’s sense of identity, and disruption of role participation can lead to psychological and psychosocial problems. Hurricane Katrina evacuees, from New Orleans, Louisiana who moved to Houston, Texas, have been found to have experienced high rates of mental health issues. A primary premise of the profession of Occupational Therapy is that engagement in roles can positively mitigate the effects of the stress and trauma of a disaster. This study examined the following research questions: (a)how does displacement secondary to Hurricane Katrina affect one’s role participation? And (b)how do these role changes impact one’s daily routine? Methodology: This qualitative collective case study explored how the roles and daily routines changed for two persons, displaced to Houston from New Orleans secondary to Hurricane Katrina. Data were retrieved in one-hour long interview with participants and results were member-checked with both participants. Results: Four major themes emerged from participants’ interviews that demonstrate participants’ experiences after displacement. They include: (1) sense of loss, (2) change and adjustment, (3) importance of the family, and (4) optimism and hope for the future. Participants first experienced an immense sense of loss after displacement secondary to lost possessions, family and friends. Both participants went through negative changes and adjustments after relocation which resulted in frustration and unhappiness. However, the importance of family closeness and togetherness led participants to view living in Houston with hope and optimism for the future. Conclusions: This study illustrates how engagement in occupations can help alleviate some of the stress in displacement to a new city secondary to a hurricane. Participation in new and old occupations produced new supportive routines, and reliance on old routines facilitated occupational performance.