search for


A Qualitative Study on the Process of the Mental Health Assessment and Intervention after the Sewol Ferry Disaster: Focusing on Survivors among Danwon High School Students
J Korean Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2018; 29(4): 161-171
Published online October 1, 2018
© 2018 Korean Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Mi-Sun Lee1, Jun-Won Hwang2, and Soo-Young Bhang3

1Department of Meditation Psychology, Nungin University, Hwaseong, Korea
2Department of Psychiatry, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea
3Department of Psychiatry, Eulji University School of Medicine, Eulji University Hospital, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Soo-Young Bhang, Department of Psychiatry, Eulji University School of Medicine, Eulji University Hospital, 68 Hangeulbiseok-ro, Nowon-gu, Seoul 01830, Korea
Tel: +82-2-970-8303, Fax: +82-2-970-8429, E-mail:
Received April 3, 2018; Revised June 27, 2018; Accepted August 13, 2018.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Objectives: This study aimed to identify the process of psychosocial assessment, the experience of intervention, and the improvement after the disaster that Danwon high school students survived from the sinking of the Motor Vessel (MV) Sewol in South Korea on April 16, 2014.
Methods: We conducted in-depth qualitative research using individual interviews from January to February 2017. Twenty-one of 75 Danwon high school students survived by the MV Sewol disaster were studied. Two interviewers participated in the in-depth interview. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, coded, and analyzed through content analysis based on psychosocial assessment and intervention after the disaster.
Results: Twenty-one participants were 20 years old, where 10 were male (47.62%), and 11 were female (52.38%). More than 75% of the interviewed students felt that mental health services were needed, and more than 85% required mental health assessments. Regarding psychiatric symptoms, the students reported that they suffered depression and insomnia (19.05%), anxiety (14.29%), nightmares and phobias (9.52%), and difficulties regarding concentration, aggression, and game addiction (4.76%).
Conclusion: Despite survivors experiencing the same disaster, there were differences in their responses to mental health assessments and interventions experienced during the three years, and conflicting opinions were reported. In planning future evaluations and interventions, it is necessary for strategies to cope with flexibly to consider the characteristics and symptoms of the survivors while maintaining principles.
Keywords : Mental health; Assessment; Intervention; Qualitative study; Sewol Ferry Disaster; Survivors.

October 2018, 29 (4)
Full Text(PDF) Free

Social Network Service

Cited By Articles
  • CrossRef (0)

Funding Information
  • Ministry of Health and Welfare(Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs)