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Teenage girls and senior students suffered highest levels of PTSD after major earthquake
Date:10/26/2011

hemselves.
  • Fifty-five of the students' mothers and fathers died or went missing after the earthquake and a further 321 were injured.
  • Half of the students stayed in the affected area during the aftermath and 90% of their families experienced severe property loss. Half of the students had group or individual counselling. Three-quarters received material support.
  • The overall average score on the 17-item PCL-C scale, which is used to measure PTSD in civilians, was 33.64 out of 85 (range 17-85). Girls recorded higher scores than boys (34.20 versus 32.98) with senior students recording higher scores than junior students (34.21 versus 32.48). The same pattern was observed in the individual categories.
  • Just over 60% displayed at least one symptom when it came to re-experiencing the event, with an average score of 9.86 out of 25 (range 5-25).
  • A quarter displayed at least three symptoms when it came to avoiding reminders of the event and feeling numb, with an average score of 12.64 out of 35 (range 7-35).
  • Just under half (49%) displayed at least two symptoms of increased emotional arousal, with an average score of 11.14 out of 25 (range 5-25).
  • The study also showed that boys tended to cope by using problem solving, while girls focused on emotional release.

    "We believe that the findings of our study provide important information for mental health interventions after large-scale natural disasters" says Dr Zhang. "Previous research has indicated that symptoms in adolescents persist long after traumatic events and are likely to become chronic, which is why prompt action and support is so necessary."

    The authors have three key recommendations for clinical practice as a result of their study:

    • Social support, including material support and psychological intervention, should be made available as soon as possible after the traumatic event.
    • More attention should be paid to high-risk adolescents
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    Contact: Annette Whibley
    annette.wizard@gmail.com
    Wiley-Blackwell
    Source:Eurekalert

    Page: 1 2 3

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