open access

Vol 64, No 3 (2013)
MARITIME PSYCHOLOGY Original article
Published online: 2013-09-25
Submitted: 2013-09-25
Accepted: 2013-09-25
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Psychological consequences in victims of maritime piracy: the Italian experience

Antonio Rosario Ziello, Rolando Degli Angioli, Angiola Maria Fasanaro, Francesco Amenta
International Maritime Health 2013;64(3):136-141.

open access

Vol 64, No 3 (2013)
MARITIME PSYCHOLOGY Original article
Published online: 2013-09-25
Submitted: 2013-09-25
Accepted: 2013-09-25

Abstract

Background and aim: Maritime piracy is a worrying phenomenon. Its recurrence in the last few years iscausing several problems to the safety of maritime routes. In spite of the number of seafarers kidnappedand maintained in captivity, psychological/mental disorders developed in victims of these criminal actshave not been investigated. This study has assessed psychological consequences of kidnapping in a groupof Italian seafarers held in captivity from 7 to 10 months.

Materials and methods: Four Italian seafarers were examined at the 5th month after release. An initial, semi-structured interview was followed by 2 structured clinical evaluations for assessing the possible presence of psychopathological disorders. Instruments used were the Cognitive Behavioural Assessment (CBA 2.0) and the Clinician-Administered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Scale (CAPS-DX).

Results: All victims showed high scores of state anxiety (56.00 ± 3.36) and social adjustment disorder (12.75 ± 2.21) to CBA 2.0. Moreover, 3 of them revealed traits of anxiety (58.75 ± 8.50) and emotionalinstability (8.25 ± 2.50). Two of them had somatic disorders (63.25 ± 15.94), depression (17.25 ± 4.78) and phobic problems (91.00 ± 7.02). In 3 of 4 victims examined, a PTSD diagnosis was made. Symptomsof recall resulted in higher CAPS-DX (13.00 ± 4.05) scores.

Conclusions: Traumatic experiences such as being kept in captivity by pirates could entail relevant psychopathological disorders in victims and their families. Quality care interventions, aimed to develop paradigms for resilience training, represent a priority. An international partnerships and collaboration between institutions, clinicians and seafarer organisations can be useful to evaluate psychological conditions of these workers.

Abstract

Background and aim: Maritime piracy is a worrying phenomenon. Its recurrence in the last few years iscausing several problems to the safety of maritime routes. In spite of the number of seafarers kidnappedand maintained in captivity, psychological/mental disorders developed in victims of these criminal actshave not been investigated. This study has assessed psychological consequences of kidnapping in a groupof Italian seafarers held in captivity from 7 to 10 months.

Materials and methods: Four Italian seafarers were examined at the 5th month after release. An initial, semi-structured interview was followed by 2 structured clinical evaluations for assessing the possible presence of psychopathological disorders. Instruments used were the Cognitive Behavioural Assessment (CBA 2.0) and the Clinician-Administered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Scale (CAPS-DX).

Results: All victims showed high scores of state anxiety (56.00 ± 3.36) and social adjustment disorder (12.75 ± 2.21) to CBA 2.0. Moreover, 3 of them revealed traits of anxiety (58.75 ± 8.50) and emotionalinstability (8.25 ± 2.50). Two of them had somatic disorders (63.25 ± 15.94), depression (17.25 ± 4.78) and phobic problems (91.00 ± 7.02). In 3 of 4 victims examined, a PTSD diagnosis was made. Symptomsof recall resulted in higher CAPS-DX (13.00 ± 4.05) scores.

Conclusions: Traumatic experiences such as being kept in captivity by pirates could entail relevant psychopathological disorders in victims and their families. Quality care interventions, aimed to develop paradigms for resilience training, represent a priority. An international partnerships and collaboration between institutions, clinicians and seafarer organisations can be useful to evaluate psychological conditions of these workers.

Get Citation

Keywords

maritime piracy, seafarers, psychopathology, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, kidnapping

About this article
Title

Psychological consequences in victims of maritime piracy: the Italian experience

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 64, No 3 (2013)

Pages

136-141

Published online

2013-09-25

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2013;64(3):136-141.

Keywords

maritime piracy
seafarers
psychopathology
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
kidnapping

Authors

Antonio Rosario Ziello
Rolando Degli Angioli
Angiola Maria Fasanaro
Francesco Amenta

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