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The incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder among survivors after earthquakes: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Dai, W and Chen, L and Lai, Z and Li, Y and Wang, J and Liu, A (2016) The incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder among survivors after earthquakes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Psychiatry, 16 (1).

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Abstract

© 2016 The Author(s). Background: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common psychological disorder caused by unusual threats or catastrophic events. Little is known about the combined incidence of PTSD after earthquakes. This study aimed at evaluating the combined incidence of PTSD among survivors after earthquakes using systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods: The electronic databases of PubMed, Embase, Web of Science and PsycARTICLES were searched for relevant articles in this study. Loney criteria were used to assess the quality of eligible articles. The combined incidence of PTSD was estimated by using the Freeman-Tukey double arcsine transformation method. Subgroup analyses were conducted using the following variables: the time of PTSD assessment, gender, educational level, marital status, damage to one's house, bereavement, injury of body and witnessing death. Results: Forty-six eligible articles containing 76,101 earthquake survivors met the inclusion criteria, of which 17,706 were diagnosed as having PTSD. Using a random effects model, the combined incidence of PTSD after earthquakes was 23.66 %. Moreover, the combined incidence of PTSD among survivors who were diagnosed at not more than 9 months after earthquake was 28.76 %, while for survivors who were diagnosed at over nine months after earthquake the combined incidence was 19.48 %. A high degree of heterogeneity (I2 = 99.5 %, p<0.001) was observed in the results, with incidence ranging from 1.20 to 82.64 %. The subgroup analyses showed that the incidence of PTSD after earthquake varied significantly across studies in relation to the time of PTSD assessment, gender, educational level, damage to one's house, bereavement, injury of body and witnessing death. However, stratified analyses could not entirely explain the heterogeneity in the results. Conclusions: Given the high heterogeneity observed in this study, future studies should aim at exploring more possible risk factors for PTSD after earthquakes, especially genetic factors. In spite of that, the results of this study suggest that nearly 1 in 4 earthquake survivors are diagnosed as having PTSD. Therefore, the local government should plan effective psychological interventions for earthquake survivors.


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Details

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Dai, W
Chen, L
Lai, Z
Li, Y
Wang, Jjiw95@pitt.eduJIW95
Liu, A
Date: 7 June 2016
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: BMC Psychiatry
Volume: 16
Number: 1
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1186/s12888-016-0891-9
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Pediatrics
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2016 13:47
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2019 23:55
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/28660

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