Mental health impact of the 2010 Haiti earthquake on the Miami Haitian population: A random-sample survey. Article

Messiah, Antoine, Acuna, Juan M, Castro, Grettel et al. (2014). Mental health impact of the 2010 Haiti earthquake on the Miami Haitian population: A random-sample survey. . 2(3-4), 130-137. 10.1080/21665044.2015.1014216

cited authors

  • Messiah, Antoine; Acuna, Juan M; Castro, Grettel; de la Vega, Pura Rodríguez; Vaiva, Guillaume; Shultz, James; Neria, Yuval; De La Rosa, Mario

fiu authors


  • This study examined the mental health consequences of the January 2010 Haiti earthquake on Haitians living in Miami-Dade County, Florida, 2-3 years following the event. A random-sample household survey was conducted from October 2011 through December 2012 in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Haitian participants (N = 421) were assessed for their earthquake exposure and its impact on family, friends, and household finances; and for symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and major depression; using standardized screening measures and thresholds. Exposure was considered as "direct" if the interviewee was in Haiti during the earthquake. Exposure was classified as "indirect" if the interviewee was not in Haiti during the earthquake but (1) family members or close friends were victims of the earthquake, and/or (2) family members were hosted in the respondent's household, and/or (3) assets or jobs were lost because of the earthquake. Interviewees who did not qualify for either direct or indirect exposure were designated as "lower" exposure. Eight percent of respondents qualified for direct exposure, and 63% qualified for indirect exposure. Among those with direct exposure, 19% exceeded threshold for PTSD, 36% for anxiety, and 45% for depression. Corresponding percentages were 9%, 22% and 24% for respondents with indirect exposure, and 6%, 14%, and 10% for those with lower exposure. A majority of Miami Haitians were directly or indirectly exposed to the earthquake. Mental health distress among them remains considerable two to three years post-earthquake.

publication date

  • July 1, 2014

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


  • Print-Electronic

start page

  • 130

end page

  • 137


  • 2


  • 3-4