03 Sep 2012 to 03 Sep 2012
The use of GSI is assessing spiritual variations in stress-related health as a result of living in seismically active Christchurch, New Zealand
The February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch resulted in over 180 direct deaths from injuries. What is not known is the extent to which the health of those living in the city is still being affected. Specifically we know nothing about whether there is a distinct geography in stress-related health associated with spatial variations in ongoing earthquake impact.
This paper will present details of a recently CRCSI funded result project. This research will test whether there is a spatial relationship between the extent of physical damage from natural disasters and non-injury psycho-social stress related health outcomes that while not acute, may significantly impact rehabilitation and reconstruction of an affected location. The hypothesis is that adverse stress-related health outcomes (e.g. cardiovascular risk or anxiety) are greater among people who have experienced greater physical damage to their communities and homes than other those who have experienced less damage, but who also live in the city.
The research will focus on the 2010/2011 Christchurch earthquakes as the location of interest. Geospatial methods will be used to estimate exposure to physical damage and community disruption; and spatial statistical methods will be developed to model exposure indicators to health data at a fine spatial scale.
There are specific geospatial challenges that will be discussed in this paper.
Firstly, how to define exposure to earthquake impact. A crucial step in any study linking the environment and health is estimating how, and in what quantity, individuals and populations are exposed to the environmental variable of interest. Good quality geospatial exposure estimation is essential if meaningful comparison is to be made to health outcomes. In the case of assessing exposure to earthquake damage the potential health affecting components are unclear. The casual agents linking immediate injuries and fatalities from direct earthquake damage are largely obvious and clear. However the affects of living in an area with damage to the physical built environment, disruption to services and the temporary and longer term breakdown of social networks are not known. This makes assessing exposure to earthquake impact an interesting geospatial challenge.
Secondly, how to tracking mobile populations. The second stage in the process is to be able to track a mobile population through the geographical area of interest, to be able to develop individual exposure estimates. This is especially important as many people will have been displaced from their homes and while still affected by the earthquake, will not necessarily live in the same community. Thus novel, previously unused approaches to tracking these individuals and families will be developed, based on previously unused datasets.
This paper will present some of the key methods to be presented and invite feedback and comment in the proposed methods.
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