[A follow-up study on the post-traumatic stress disorders among middle school students in Wenchuan earthquake region]

Yan-Fang Yang, Xiao-Xia Liu, Zi-Qian Zeng, Ying-Jun Xiang, Zhi-Yue Liu, Xiao-Qin Hu, Juan Li, Ting Li, Feng-Su Hou, Ping Yuan
Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue za Zhi [Chinese Journal of Preventive Medicine] 2011, 45 (4): 354-8

OBJECTIVE: This study was to identify the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) changes and the relative risk factors within one year after Wenchuan earthquake among middle school students in the disaster area.

METHODS: A total of 1966 students from 3 schools in Wenchuan earthquake region were selected as the target population. For each student, personal basic information and standard psychological scale (PCL-C, PSSS) were investigated by a self-administrated questionnaire in the 3rd, the 6th, the 9th and the 12th month after the earthquake, respectively. PTSD trends over the time and the associated risk factors were analyzed through the establishment of multi-level random coefficient model.

RESULTS: There were 1677 middle school students fully participated in the PTSD follow-up study by turning in the valid questionnaires. The averaged scores of PTSD at the time of the 3rd, the 6th, the 9th and the 12th month after the earthquake were 35.14 ± 11.08, 32.90 ± 11.03, 30.67 ± 11.28 and 29.75 ± 11.22, respectively. Meanwhile, the general incidences of PTSD were 36.6% (613/1677), 30.7% (515/1677), 24.8% (416/1677)and 22.2% (373/1677), respectively. The median score of perceived social support system was 60.00 and the general incidences of PSS was 17.20% (289/1677). The PTSD scores for the students had a decreasing trend during the period of our observation (β(time) = -1.879, χ(2) = 47.03, P < 0.05). The averaged scores for boys for the 4 follow-up studies were 33.71, 31.61, 29.66, 28.83; for girls were 36.33, 33.98, 31.51, 30.52; for junior school students were 35.46, 33.28, 30.18, 29.22; for senior school students were 34.89, 32.62, 31.04, 30.15. Moreover, two factors, gender and grade, were related with the decreasing trend (the trend for girls and senior school students was sharper than that for boys and junior school students) (β(gender-time) = -0.354, χ(2) = 4.83, P < 0.05; β(grade-time) = 0.622, χ(2) = 11.30, P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of PTSD was high. Meanwhile, there was a trend of self-recovery for adolescent's PTSD during the first year of post-earthquake, but boys and junior school students recovered more slowly.

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