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      Prevalence and risk factors of posttraumatic stress disorder among survivors five years after the “Wenchuan” earthquake in China

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          The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its risk factors among survivors in a heavily-hit area five years after the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, China.


          684 survivors from Beichuan county, the center of the Wenchuan Earthquake in 2008, were evaluated using the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C) questionnaire in 2013.


          The prevalence of PTSD among survivors was 9.2% in 2013. Significant risk factors of PTSD included gender (females 12.1%, males 5.2%), age (18–35 y 0.8%, 36–59 y 9.7%, ≥60 y 12.9%), occupation (farmers 12.2%, non-farmers 1.6%), education (less than high school 11.0%; > = high school 0.8%) and family member loss (yes: 12.4%, no: 7.3%). Multivariate logistic regression showed that females, older people, farmers and those with family member loss were significantly more likely to develop PTSD.


          Posttraumatic stress symptoms remained relatively common among survivors five years after the “5.12” Earthquake in Beichuan county, China. It is important to provide psychological aid and social support for survivors to decease health burden from PTSD, especially for females, farmers, old age survivors and those with family member loss.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Acute stress disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression in disaster or rescue workers.

          The events of Sept. 11, 2001, highlighted the importance of understanding the effects of trauma on disaster workers. To better plan for the health care of disaster workers, this study examined acute stress disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), early dissociative symptoms, depression, and health care utilization in disaster workers. Exposed disaster workers (N=207) and unexposed comparison subjects (N=421) were examined at 2, 7, and 13 months after an airplane crash. Exposed disaster workers had significantly higher rates of acute stress disorder, PTSD at 13 months, depression at 7 months, and depression at 13 months than comparison subjects. Those who were younger and single were more likely to develop acute stress disorder. Exposed disaster workers with acute stress disorder were 3.93 times more likely to be depressed at 7 months. Those with high exposure and previous disaster experience or who had acute stress disorder were more likely to develop PTSD. Similarly, those who were depressed at 7 months were 9.5 times more likely to have PTSD. Those who were depressed at 13 months were 7.96 times more likely to also meet PTSD criteria. More exposed disaster workers than comparison subjects obtained medical care for emotional problems at 2, 7, and 13 months. Overall, 40.5% of exposed disaster workers versus 20.4% of comparison subjects had acute stress disorder, depression at 13 months, or PTSD. Exposed disaster workers are at increased risk of acute stress disorder, depression, or PTSD and seek care for emotional problems at an increased rate.
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            Maladaptive self-appraisals before trauma exposure predict posttraumatic stress disorder.

            This study tested the proposal that negative appraisals represent a risk factor for developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after trauma. Trainee firefighters (N = 68) were assessed during training (before trauma exposure) for PTSD, history of traumatic events, and tendency to engage in negative appraisals. Firefighters were reassessed 4 years later (N = 52), after commencing firefighter duty (after trauma exposure), for PTSD and depression using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Scale (E. B. Foa, L. Cashman, L. Jaycox, & K. Perry, 1997) and the Beck Depression Inventory (Version 2; A. T. Beck, R. A. Steer, & G. K. Brown, 1996). At follow-up, 12% met criteria for PTSD. Pretrauma negative appraisals about oneself accounted for 20% of variance in PTSD severity at follow-up. These data provide the first evidence that preexisting negative appraisals are a risk factor for PTSD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved).
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              Social support and Quality of Life: a cross-sectional study on survivors eight months after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake

              Background The 2008 Wenchuan earthquake resulted in extensive loss of life and physical and psychological injuries for survivors. This research examines the relationship between social support and health-related quality of life for the earthquake survivors. Methods A multistage cluster sampling strategy was employed to select participants from 11 shelters in nine counties exposed to different degrees of earthquake damage, for a questionnaire survey. The participants were asked to complete the Short Form 36 and the Social Support Rating Scale eight months after the earthquake struck. A total of 1617 participants returned the questionnaires. The quality of life of the survivors (in the four weeks preceding the survey) was compared with that of the general population in the region. Multivariate logistic regression analysis and canonical correlation analysis were performed to determine the association between social support and quality of life. Results The earthquake survivors reported poorer quality of life than the general population, with an average of 4.8% to 19.62% reduction in scores of the SF-36 (p < 0.001). The multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that those with stronger social support were more likely to have better quality of life. The canonical correlation analysis found that there was a discrepancy between actual social support received and perceived social support available, and the magnitude of this discrepancy was inversely related to perceived general health (rs = 0.467), and positively related to mental health (rs = 0.395). Conclusion Social support is associated with quality of life in the survivors of the earthquake. More attention needs to be paid to increasing social support for those with poorer mental health.

                Author and article information

                Health Qual Life Outcomes
                Health Qual Life Outcomes
                Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
                BioMed Central (London )
                4 June 2015
                4 June 2015
                : 13
                [ ]Medical school, Panzhihua University, Panzhihua, China
                [ ]Institute of Public Health, School of Nursing , Henan University, Jinming Campus, Kaifeng, HN 475004 China
                [ ]School of Public Health, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China
                [ ]Ministry of Education-Shanghai Key Laboratory of Children’s Environmental Health, Xin Hua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao-Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
                © Zhang et al. 2015

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                Health & Social care

                posttraumatic stress disorder, survivors, risk factors, wenchuan earthquake


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