Prevalence and risk factors of posttraumatic stress disorder among survivors five years after the "Wenchuan" earthquake in China

Li-Ping Zhang, Qian Zhao, Zhong-Cheng Luo, Yi-Xiong Lei, Yu Wang, Pei-Xi Wang
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2015, 13: 75

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its risk factors among survivors in a heavily-hit area five years after the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, China.

METHODS: 684 survivors from Beichuan county, the center of the Wenchuan Earthquake in 2008, were evaluated using the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C) questionnaire in 2013.

RESULTS: The prevalence of PTSD among survivors was 9.2% in 2013. Significant risk factors of PTSD included gender (females 12.1%, males 5.2%), age (18-35 y 0.8%, 36-59 y 9.7%, ≥60 y 12.9%), occupation (farmers 12.2%, non-farmers 1.6%), education (less than high school 11.0%; > = high school 0.8%) and family member loss (yes: 12.4%, no: 7.3%). Multivariate logistic regression showed that females, older people, farmers and those with family member loss were significantly more likely to develop PTSD.

CONCLUSIONS: Posttraumatic stress symptoms remained relatively common among survivors five years after the "5.12" Earthquake in Beichuan county, China. It is important to provide psychological aid and social support for survivors to decease health burden from PTSD, especially for females, farmers, old age survivors and those with family member loss.

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