Clinical Research After Catastrophic Disasters: Lessons Learned From Hurricane Katrina

Kate Flory, Bret Kloos, Benjamin L. Hankin, Catherine A. Cheely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When catastrophic disasters such as Hurricane Katrina strike, psychologists and other mental health professionals often wonder how to use resources and fill needed roles. We argue that conducting clinical research in response to disasters is 1 important way that these professionals can contribute. However, we recognize that designing and implementing a clinical research study can be a daunting task, particularly in the context of the personal and system-wide chaos that follows most disasters. Thus, we offer a detailed description of our own experiences with conducting clinical research as part of our response to Hurricane Katrina. We describe our study design, recruitment and data collection efforts, and summarize and synthesize the lessons we have learned from this endeavor. Our hope is that others who may wish to conduct disaster-related research will learn from our mistakes and successes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-112
Number of pages6
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Hurricane Katrina
  • clinical research
  • disasters
  • roles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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