Health services utilization under Qassam rocket attacks

Lital Goldberg, Jacob Dreiher, Michael Friger, Alexander Levin, Pesach Shvartzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The Qassam rocket attacks on southern Israel during the years 2000-2007 created a unique situation of life under a continuous threat. The effect of this unique situation on health services utilization has not been previously examined. Objectives: To evaluate health utilization patterns in two primary care clinics in southern Israel: one under continuous attacks of Qassam rockets as compared with a similar clinic not under a rocket threat. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study in two primary care clinics in southern Israel, with 11,630 persons listed in the two clinics during the entire study period. The primary outcome measures were total annual number of visits per person to the clinic and for specific diagnoses, and the number of drug prescriptions issued, emergency room (ER) visits, hospitalization days, cardiac catheterizations and coronary bypass surgeries. Results: In both clinics there was an increase over time in the mean annual number of visits per person. During the years of severe attacks there was an increase in visits with a chief complaint of depression and anxiety and an increase in the number of anxiolytic prescriptions in the study clinic compared with the control. During the same period there was a decrease in the number of ER visits in the study clinic compared with the control. Conclusions: The population under continuous life-threatening events showed more depression and anxiety problems. Under severe bombardment, the residents prefer not to leave home, unless necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-418
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume15
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Family medicine
  • Health services utilization
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Primary care
  • Terror
  • War

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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