Mass Terrorism and the Distribution of Gas Masks in Israel: A Longitudinal Cohort Analysis

November 2001 (VOL. 19, NO. 3)

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This paper describes and analyzes the distribution of gas masks in Israel. It is based on a longitudinal cohort analysis to assess the effectiveness of the program and those factors explaining skill level in mask use. A matched cohort sample ten years after the original distribution in 1991 are compared along with pre and post Gulf War mask recipients. The results suggest that the original distribution program to have been extremely effective in maintaining skill level in use, providing client satisfaction and increasing protective confidence. A matched cohort 10 years later showed a continuation of these high levels of preparedness and skills required to effectively use gas masks. Contrasting pre-post Gulf war mask recipients revealed those who experienced the war had significantly higher mask-use skill levels. Marital status, and risk perceptions of an imminent war accounted for these differences.