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Keywords:

  • children and adolescents;
  • peritraumatic distress;
  • depression;
  • Haitian earthquake;
  • PTSD

Background

We examined the prevalence and predictive factors of PTSD and depression in relation with peritraumatic distress, trauma exposure, and sociodemographic characteristics among children and adolescent who survived the 2010 Haiti's earthquake.

Methods

We analyzed data collected between June and July 2012 from a sample of 872 participants aged 7 to 17 in 12 schools, door-to-door canvassing and two centers for street children at Port-au-Prince. Participants completed the Impact of Event Scale Revised (IES-R), Peritraumatic Distress Inventory, Child Depression Inventory 2 (CDI), and sociodemographic and traumatic exposure questionnaires.

Results

Of 872 participants, respectively 322 (36.93%); and 403 (46.21%) reported a clinically significant symptoms of PTSD and depression, which were significantly higher among girls. The best predictive variables are peritraumatic distress for PTSD inline image a traumatic exposure for depression inline image. The comorbidity between PTSD and depression symptoms is 22.25%.

Conclusions

This first study in children on the prevalence of PTSD and depression resulting from the 2010 Haiti earthquake demonstrates a need for improvement in treatment aimed at reducing PTSD and depression. Such treatment should be geared primarily toward girls, adolescents between the ages of 14 and 17 and those children and adolescents who have lost a family member in the earthquake.