Epidemiologic psychiatric studies on post-disaster impact among Chi-Chi earthquake survivors in Yu-Chi, Taiwan
Article first published online: 30 JUN 2007
Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Volume 61, Issue 4, pages 370–378, August 2007
How to Cite
CHOU, F. H.-C., WU, H.-C., CHOU, P., SU, C.-Y., TSAI, K.-Y., CHAO, S.-S., CHEN, M.-C., SU, T. T.-P., SUN, W.-J. and OU-YANG, W.-C. (2007), Epidemiologic psychiatric studies on post-disaster impact among Chi-Chi earthquake survivors in Yu-Chi, Taiwan. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 61: 370–378. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2007.01688.x
- Issue published online: 30 JUN 2007
- Article first published online: 30 JUN 2007
- Received 14 September 2006; revised 28 March 2007; accepted 2 April 2007.
- major depression;
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Abstract The aim of the present study was to survey a cohort population for the risk factors of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression, and the prevalence of different psychiatric disorders at 6 months and 2 and 3 years after a major earthquake. The Disaster-Related Psychological Screening Test (DRPST), part I, and the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) were, respectively, administered by trained interviewers and psychiatrists in this community-interview program. The prevalence of PTSD decreased from 8.3% at 6 months to 4.2% at 3 years after the earthquake. Suicidality increased from 4.2% at 6 months and 5.6% at 2 years to 6.0% at 3 years after the earthquake; drug abuse/dependence increased from 2.3% at 6 months to 5.1% at 3 years after the disaster. The risk factors for PTSD and major depression in various post-disaster stages were determined. Earthquake survivors had a high percentage of psychiatric disorders in the first 2 years, and then the prevalence declined. Following the devastation caused by the Chi-Chi earthquake, it is important to focus on treating symptoms of major depression and PTSD and eliminating the risk factors for both of these disorders in survivors to avoid the increase in suicidality.