Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety and Depression among the Elderly: A Survey of the Hard-hit Areas a Year after the Wenchuan Earthquake
Article first published online: 24 MAY 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Stress and Health
Volume 28, Issue 1, pages 61–68, February 2012
How to Cite
Zhang, Z., Shi, Z., Wang, L. and Liu, M. (2012), Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety and Depression among the Elderly: A Survey of the Hard-hit Areas a Year after the Wenchuan Earthquake. Stress and Health, 28: 61–68. doi: 10.1002/smi.1403
- Issue published online: 19 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 24 MAY 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 MAR 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 22 MAR 2011
- Manuscript Received: 18 OCT 2010
- Science Development Foundation of the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Grant Number: 09cx143014
- elderly survivors
Few studies to date have examined psychological sequelae of natural disasters among the elderly in China. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence rates of probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression in the elderly survivors a year after the Wenchuan earthquake as well as to analyse related risk factors. The community-based sample of the study consisted of 284 elderly survivors (≥60 years). PTSD was assessed by the PTSD Checklist—Civilian version, and anxiety and depression were assessed by the Hopkins Symptoms Checklist. In total, the estimated prevalence rates of probable PTSD, anxiety and depression were 26.3%, 42.9% and 35.2%, respectively. Nearly a fifth of the elderly participants reported symptoms that meet the criteria for all three of these mental disorders. Results indicated that some factors associated with earthquake-exposure intensity, which included loss of livelihood, bereavement, injury and initial fear during the earthquake, were among the significant risk factors for these mental disorders. Women had a higher risk of suffering from probable anxiety as compared to men. Finally, the significance and limitations of this study were also discussed. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.