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Posttraumatic stress symptoms seen in children within the 3-month period after the Van earthquake in Turkey

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Abstract

The research was conducted to determine the posttraumatic stress symptoms seen in children within the 3 month period after the Van earthquake in Turkey. The research was conducted between December 2011 and January 2012 with the earthquake survivor children in the 7–12 age group living in the tent city built in the central area of Van. The research data were collected by the researcher using the Childhood Post-Traumatic Stress Reaction Index (CPTS-RI) and a questionnaire prepared by the researchers that contained questions on some information about the earthquake and on sociodemographic characteristics.It was found out that 8.6% (26) of the children had mild symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 19.7% (60) of the children had moderate symptoms of PTSD, 47.7% (145) of the children had severe symptoms of PTSD and 24.0% (73) of the children had very severe symptoms of PTSD. Furthermore, a significant difference (P < 0.001) was found between mean CPTS-RI scores and the economic losses experienced in the families of the children. In the study, PTSD was identified in the majority of children in the 7–12 age group who experienced the Van earthquake.

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