Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder among adult survivors three months after the Sichuan earthquake in China


  • This study was supported by the National Foundation of Natural Science (30840001) and Emergency Project to Provide Psychological Assistance in Wenchuan Earthquake Areas (KKCX1-YW-05) from the Knowledge Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


The study investigated the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and associated risk factors among adult survivors 3 months after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China. One thousand five hundred sixty-three earthquake survivors in two communities participated in the study. The prevalence of probable PTSD was 37.8% and 13.0%, respectively, in the two communities that were affected differently by the earthquake. The significant predictive factors for the severity of PTSD symptoms were female gender, subnationality, lower educational level, lower social support, and higher initial exposure level. The results indicate that PTSD is also a common mental health problem among earthquake survivors in China. Given inadequate knowledge and practices concerning the mental health of disaster victims in China, the information provided by this study is useful for directing, strengthening, and evaluating disaster-related mental health needs and interventions after the earthquake.