Economic Evaluation of Mental Health Effects of Flooding using Bayesian Networks

Tabassom Sedighi, Liz Varga, Amin Hosseinian Far, Alireza Daneshkhah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The appraisal of appropriate levels of investment for devising flooding mitigation and to support recovery interventions is a complex and challenging task. Evaluation must account for social, political, environmental and other conditions, such as flood state expectations and local priorities. The evaluation method should be able to quickly identify evolving investment needs as the incidence and magnitude of flood events continue to grow. Quantification is essential and must consider multiple direct and indirect effects on flood related outcomes. The method proposed is this study is a Bayesian network, which may be used ex-post for evaluation, but also ex-ante for future assessment, and near real-time for the reallocation of investment into interventions. The particular case we study is the effect of flood interventions upon mental health, which is a gap in current investment analyses. Natural events such as floods expose people to negative mental health disorders including anxiety, distress and post-traumatic stress disorder. Such outcomes can be mitigated or exacerbated not only by state funded interventions, but by individual and community skills and experience. Success is also dampened when vulnerable and previously exposed victims are affected. Current measures evaluate solely the effectiveness of interventions to reduce physical damage to people and assets. This paper contributes a design for a Bayesian network that exposes causal pathways and conditional probabilities between interventions and mental health outcomes as well as providing a tool that can readily indicate the level of investment needed in alternative interventions based on desired mental health outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH)
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2021


  • Bayesian network
  • cost-effectiveness intervention
  • evaluation
  • flood risk management
  • mental health impacts
  • QALY


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