The effects of demographic features on differences in sensitivity between PCL-C and SCL-90 scores in a follow-up study in secondary school students in the Wenchuan earthquake region

Feng Su Hou, Ting Li, Juan Li, Xiao Qin Hu, Zhi Yue Liu, Ping Yuan
Biomedical and Environmental Sciences: BES 2011, 24 (6): 642-8

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the sensitivity of effect factors between the PCL-C and the SCL-90, to provide evidence for social psychological crisis screening and post-trauma interventions.

METHODS: We administered the PCL-C and SCL-90 to screen for PTSD and other psychological problems among students who survived the disaster and continued their school studies. The surveys were carried out 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after the earthquake. A bivariate 2-level logistic model was used to explore the different levels of sensitivity among students. The factors influencing the relationships between PTSD and depression, and between PTSD and anxiety were examined.

RESULTS: We analyzed data from 1 677 students, revealing that female students in higher grades were more likely to exhibit symptoms of depression, rather than PTSD, compared with the control group (males in lower grades), and the difference was significant (P<0.05). In contrast, ethnic minorities were more likely to exhibit PTSD symptoms compared to the others. In addition, female students were more likely to exhibit symptoms of anxiety than PTSD. Other effects that did not reach statistical significance were suggested to have a similar influence on PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

CONCLUSION: After a natural disaster, specific aspects of depression and anxiety should be examined, avoiding an overemphasis on PTSD in social psychological crisis interventions.

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