International Maritime Health is the international multidisciplinary journal devoted to research and practice in the field of maritime medicine, travel and tropical medicine, hyperbaric and underwater medicine sea-rescue, port hygienic and sanitary problems. Official quarterly of the Institute of Maritime and Tropical Medicine in Gdynia, issued since 1949.
The journal is published four times a year,
Maritime piracy is a worrying phenomenon. Its recurrence in the last few years is causing several problems to the safety of maritime routes. In spite of the number of seafarers kidnapped and maintained in captivity, psychological/mental disorders developed in victims of these criminal acts have not been investigated. This study has assessed psychological consequences of kidnapping in a group of Italian seafarers held in captivity from 7 to 10 months.
This work has investigated the psychological status of family members of kidnapped seafarers, 5 months after their release.
Five months after the relatives had been released, 42% of the family members of kidnapped seafarers obtained pathological scores in the STAI-Y questionnaire, and 33% showed depression according to the HDRS.
Conclusions: Family members of kidnapped seafarers show significant psychopathological symptoms 5 months after relatives have been released. Symptoms may be severe enough to interfere with daily life in about one half of them. Kidnapping is a changing life experience and both victims and relatives require attention and support.