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J Affect Disord. 2011 Oct;133(3):509-15. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.04.053. Epub 2011 Jun 8.

Longitudinal study of PTSD, depression, and quality of life among adolescents after the Parnitha earthquake.

Author information

1
UCLA/Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, CA, USA. agoenjia@aol.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the course of PTSD, depression, and current quality of life among adolescents 32-months after the 1999 Parnitha earthquake in Greece.

METHODS:

The follow-up was conducted among 511 adolescents originally evaluated at 3-months post-earthquake using the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index (PTSD-RI), Depression Self-Rating Scale (DSRS), and Quality of Life Questionnaire (QOLQ).

RESULTS:

Mean PTSD scores for the whole sample had subsided to mild levels; however, 8.8% were still experiencing moderate to severe levels of symptoms, and 13.6% met criteria for clinical depression. Frequency of experiencing reminders of the earthquake in the past month best explained the variance (15%) in PTSD severity, followed by depression at 3-months (8%). The QOLQ domain scores were negatively correlated with PTSD and depression. Depression at 3-months was the best predictor of QOLQ at 32-months, explaining 16% of the variance.

LIMITATIONS:

Self-report instruments were used; hence the responses may have been over- or under-estimated; also, the findings may not be generalizable to other ethnic groups.

CONCLUSION:

Ongoing screening is recommended after disaster to identify adolescents who continue to experience moderate to severe levels of PTSD and depressive symptoms. Specific interventions to reduce reactivity to earthquake-related reminders should be a component of post-disaster recovery programs. A quality of life measure can provide important information in addition to traditional scales for monitoring the course of recovery among adolescents after disasters.

PMID:
21641650
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2011.04.053
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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