The Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Anxiety and Chest Pain Resulting From The Canterbury Earthquakes
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Geographic Information Science
The aim of this thesis was to examine the spatial and the temporal patterns of anxiety and chest pain resulting from the Canterbury, New Zealand earthquaeks. Three research objectives were identified: examine any spatial or termporal clusters of anxiety and chest pain; examine the associations between anxiety, chest pain and damage to neighbourhood; and determine any statistically significant difference in counts of anxiety and chest pain after each earthquake or aftershock which resulted in severe damage. Measures of the extent of liquefaction the location of CERA red-zones were used as proxy measures for earthquake damage. Cases of those who presented to Christchurch Public Hospital Emergency Department with either anxiety or chest pain between May 2010 and April 2012 were aggregated to census area unit (CAU) level for analysis.
This thesis has taken a unique approach to examining the spatial and spatio-temporal variations of anxiety and chest pain after an earthquake and offers unique results. This is the first study of its kind to use a GIS approach when examining Canterbury specific earthquake damage and health variables at a CAU level after the earthquakes.
Through the use of spatio-termporal scan modelling, negative and linear regression modelling and temporal linear modelling with dummy variables this research was able to conclude there are significant spatial and temporal variations in anxiety and chest pain resulting from the earthquakes. The spatio-termporal scan modelling identified a hot cluster of both anxiety and chest pain within Christchurch at the same time the earthquakes occurred. The negative binomial model found liquefaction to be a stronger predictor of anxiety than the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority's (CERA) land zones. The linear regression model foun chest pain to be positively associated with all measures of earthquake damage with the exception of being in the red-zone. The temporal modelling identified a significant increase in anxiety cases one month after a major earthquake, and chest pain cases spiked two weeks after an earthquake and gradually decreased over the following five weeks.
This research was limited by lack of control period data, limited measures of earthquake damage, ethical restrictions, and the need for population tracking data. The findings of this research will be useful in the planning and allocation of mental wellbeing resources should another similar event like the Canterbury Earthquakes occur in New Zealand.