[Assessment of the posttraumatic symptoms among survivors for three years following Wenchuan Earthquake]

Li-ping Zhang, Pei-xi Wang, Yan-fang Li, Qi-xiu Hu
Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue za Zhi [Chinese Journal of Preventive Medicine] 2012, 46 (8): 708-12

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the incidence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its influencing factors for three years following the "5.12" Wenchuan Earthquake.

METHODS: A systematic sampling of 870 subjects who came from Beichuan (605 persons) and Jiangyou (265 persons) areas were investigated by adopting subscale of PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C) and Social Demographic Questionnaire.

RESULTS: The incidence rate of PTSD was 8.5% (74/870), the incidence rates of PTSD for the area of Beichuan and Jiangyou were 11.2% (68/605) and 2.3% (6/265) respectively. Subjects from Beichuan had higher PTSD incidence rate compared to Jiangyou (P < 0.05). The prevalence of PTSD for female and male were 11.8% (55/465) and 4.7% (19/405) respectively, female had higher prevalence of PTSD compared to male (P < 0.05). The incidence rates of PTSD for victims who suffered from major property lost and those who lost less were 13.3% (62/466) and 3.0% (12/404) respectively, victims suffered major property lost had higher incidence rate of PTSD(P < 0.05). The incidence rates of PTSD for victims who lost family members and those did not were 13.4% (45/336) and 5.4% (29/534) respectively, victims who lost family members had higher incidence rates of PTSD (P < 0.05). The posttraumatic symptoms for survivors who suffered from PTSD mainly focused on the symptoms of reexpericement and over vigilance, the prevalence rate was 100% (74/74). Exaggerated startle response, intense psychological distress and physiological reactivity were higher than others in total 17 symptoms, accounting for 96% (71/74), 94% (70/74) and 90% (67/74). The logistic regression showed that being female, victims who suffered from major property lost, lost family member in this earthquake were the risk factors of PTSD, and the values of OR (95%CI) were 2.746 (1.580 - 4.772), 3.616 (1.871 - 6.988) and 1.805(1.057 - 3.084), respectively.

CONCLUSION: Posttraumatic symptoms were still common among survivors three years after "5.12" Wenchuan Earthquake. Survivors in Beichuan (heavy hit area), female victims, victims who suffered from major property lost, victims who lost family member need more social and economic support.

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