Year: 2018 Source: International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. (2018). Published online 26 October 2018. SIEC No: 20180710

This study assesses the prevalence rates for a major depressive disorder (MDD) in residents of Fort McMurray 6 months after a wildfire and to determine the demographic, clinical, and other predictors of likely MDD in the respondents. One thousand five hundred adult residents of Fort McMurray who could read and provide written informed consent were enrolled on this cross-sectional survey. The PHQ-9 was used to assess the presence or absence of probable MDD. Overall, 486 respondents with an age range of 18 to 88 and about a two thirds being females completed in full all of the key psychometric questionnaires and were included in the analysis. The 1-month prevalence rate for likely MDD 6 months after the disaster was 14.8% overall. Corresponding odds ratios for likely MDD included 2.77 (95% CI of 1.03–7.46) and 12.75 (95% CI of 2.22–73.21) for those who received limited or no support respectively from friends or family, 5.31 (95% CI of 1.3–20.1) for those who had history of an anxiety disorder before the wildfire and 2.57 (CI of 1.1–6.2) for those who have received counseling after the wildfire, while controlling for other factors in the model. While a prior diagnosis of an anxiety disorder significantly increased risk for developing MDD following wildfires, high level support from family and friends may be protective. Further studies are needed to explore the association between receiving counseling after a wildfire and presenting with likely MDD.