Rated 5 of 5.
Level of importance:
Rated 5 of 5.
Level of validity:
Rated 5 of 5.
Level of completeness:
Rated 4 of 5.
Level of comprehensibility:
Rated 5 of 5.
|Keywords:||Pollution and health, Generalized anxiety; disaster recovery; mental health; emergency response; Gulf States Population Survey (GSPS), Public policymaking, Environmental justice and inequality/inequity, Emergency response, Disaster recovery, Sanitation, health, and the environment, Gulf States Population Survey (GSPS), Mental health, Environmental protection, Sustainability, Generalized anxiety|
General statement about the manuscript
The research presented in this manuscript describes associations between oil exposure and anxiety after the Deepwater Horizon marine oil spill that occurred in April 2010 and evaluates the following:
The authors indicate that the event was historic as it was the largest accidental marine oil spill to date. Their work tested the hypothesis that exposure to oil from the Deepwater Horizon event was associated with anxiety. As described by the authors the main conclusion from this research was oil contact can increase anxiety and this association can be mitigated by clean-up participation. The authors present a conclusion and discussion that support this.
Level of comprehensibility and the style of the paper
Following usual convention, the research was divided systematically into the following: an introduction, methods, results, and discussion. The manuscript had gradual flow and readability with concepts introduced in a manner that followed a logical progression.
Level of importance
The authors present a manuscript with extremely important data, in part because this was such a large and protracted event, impacting public health, which was indicated as part the focus of the research. What makes this spill noteworthy or historic, was the catastrophic loss of human life, unique to this spill. Additionally, this event was a protracted spill that affected many people and their livelihoods. Much research has been done post Deepwater Horizon but as the authors indicate, little on the focus of their particular field of research. Therefore, this manuscript predicts it will be likely the first to examine associations of anxiety in those that participated in clean-up activities compared to those that didn’t.
This publication has high relevance for academics as well as members of governmental organisations, including oil spill response agencies. It could provide valuable information as to where to direct resources to support emotional health should another event occur. Proactive techniques may be identified from this research.
Level of completeness
In reading this paper it appeared the introduction was very brief and addressing this brevity forms the basis of this review. This comment is given as there is some background knowledge that further sets the scene for the research and these additional factors if highlighted, could strengthen the introduction. While the paper reads extremely well, this reviewer feels deeper context for readers that are familiar with public health concepts but not oil spill responses could be provided by addressing three sections:
1.Additional commentary about the human cost of this spill, further to what is indicated in the manuscript:
While some may argue this is an unnecessary addition this reviewer feels that this would assist readers, that may not understand oil spills or responses, providing context. These small points may strengthen the introduction while not distracting from the core of the research providing a birds-eye view or context including:
While the target audience for this manuscript may be involved in public health, other agencies will be very interested in this research. This is a very thought-provoking manuscript that provides useful but also important ideas and data. This subject is critical for integration into public health commentary in the future. Provision of further context including some terminology and explanation to the points noted in this review may assist future readers to gain full appreciation of the scale and complexity of the Deepwater Horizon event and the effect and anxiety it created within the community and individuals.