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Psychological status of nursing survivors in China and its associated factors: 6 years after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake

Authors Liao J, Ma X, Gao B, Zhang M, Zhang Y, Liu M, Li X

Received 2 February 2019

Accepted for publication 3 July 2019

Published 14 August 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 2301—2311


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jun Chen

Jingping Liao,1,2 Xiaofang Ma,1,3 Bin Gao,4 Mingfeng Zhang,5 Yuanfang Zhang,6 Maoqun Liu,7 Xiaolin Li1

1Department of Nursing, West China Hospital, West China School of Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, People’s Republic of China; 2School of Nursing, Peking University, Beijing 100191, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Emergency, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Nursing, Dujiangyan Medical Center, Dujiangyan 611830, People’s Republic of China; 5Department of Nursing, People’s Hospital of Mianzhu City, Deyang 618200, People’s Republic of China; 6Department of Nursing, Wenchuan People’s Hospital, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture 623000, People’s Republic of China; 7Department of Nursing, Dujiangyan Second People’s Hospital, Dujiangyan 611830, People’s Republic of China

Purpose: Nursing survivors are often not only the victims but also the rescuers in a disaster. Severe natural disasters can cause them long-term psychological impact. This study aimed to investigate the psychological status of nursing survivors and its associated factors 6 years after the severe earthquake that occurred in Wenchuan, Sichuan, on May 12, 2008.
Methods: The study used a cross-sectional design. A total of 597 nurses who survived the earthquake and took care of victims were recruited about 6 years after the disaster. They completed a self-report questionnaire assessing information about demographics, earthquake-related characteristics, psychological status, posttraumatic stress disorder, and posttraumatic growth and resilience.
Results: The mean score on the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) was (123.56±41.26). Of symptoms indicated by the SCL-90-R, obsessive-compulsive dimension had the highest score (1.62±0.62). The psychological status of nursing survivors differed with the title, monthly per capita household income, financial loss, health status, residential satisfaction, and satisfaction with leaders and colleagues. Severe financial loss and poor health status were significant factors of psychological distress. In addition, psychological status was negatively related to posttraumatic stress disorder and posttraumatic growth, and positively related to resilience.
Conclusion: Nursing survivors had a relatively normal level of psychological status 6 years after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. However, psychological symptoms such as obsessive-compulsive patterns still remained. Interventions focusing on the improvement of financial subsidies and physical health may be particularly useful in reducing psychological problems after the disaster.

Keywords: natural disaster, posttraumatic growth, resilience, rescue, mental health, disaster response

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