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Prevalence and Influencing Factors of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Among Survivors in the Hard-Hit Areas Ten Years After the Wenchuan Earthquake: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors Lu B, Zeng W, Li Z, Wen J

Received 28 January 2020

Accepted for publication 25 March 2020

Published 8 April 2020 Volume 2020:16 Pages 933—941


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jun Chen

Bingqing Lu,1 Wenqi Zeng,2 Zhuyue Li,3 Jin Wen2

1Chinese Evidence-Based Medicine Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, People’s Republic of China; 2Institute of Hospital Management, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, People’s Republic of China; 3West China Hospital/West China School of Nursing, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Jin Wen Tel/Fax +86-28-85424666

Background: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common psychological distress after natural disasters, which is persistent. Chronic PTSD leads to a heavy disease burden. The purpose of this study is to explore the prevalence and influencing factors of chronic PTSD among survivors in the hard-hit areas ten years after the Wenchuan earthquake.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on residents aged 16 or above in hard-hit areas through a multi-stage sampling approach ten years after the Wenchuan earthquake. The items of the questionnaire included demographic characteristics and earthquake exposure factors, and the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C) was used to evaluate the PTSD of the respondents.
Results: A total of 1039 complete questionnaires were obtained. The median age of 1039 respondents was 60 years, 63.2% of whom were female, 70.2% were illiterate or had received primary education, and 58% had an annual household income of less than 20,000 yuan (US$ 2871.3). The rate of PTSD was 9.1% (95/1039). After controlling for confounding factors, it was found that higher income level and education level, and moving to concentrated rural settlement (CRS) after the earthquake might be protective factors for the long-term mental health of survivors in the hard-hit areas, and the loss of immediate families in the earthquake was an important risk factor.
Conclusion: Even though ten years have passed since the Wenchuan earthquake, the survivors in the hard-hit areas still have a serious mental disorder. The local government and health-care institutions should take appropriate measures to improve the mental health of residents.

Keywords: Wenchuan earthquake, natural disaster, mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD

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