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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.

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



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


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).


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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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