Post traumatic stress disorder in children after tsunami disaster in Thailand: 2 years follow-up.

Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health, Bangkok, Thailand.
Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand = Chotmaihet thangphaet 11/2007; 90(11):2370-6.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT On December 26, 2004, the tsunami destroyed many families, communities, and residential areas. Adverse psychological impact on children and adolescents due to a natural disaster of this magnitude has never been reported in Thailand's history particularly as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Investigate clinical symptoms and develop a 2-year monitoring and intervention program for PTSD in children affected by the December 26, 2004 tsunami natural disaster The study period started six weeks after the event and was completed after two years.
One thousand six hundred and twenty five surviving students from two schools in Takuapa district, Phang-nga Province, were enrolled. Screening tests using Pediatric symptom checklists, Childhood depressive intervention (CDI), and Revised child impact of events scales (CRIES) were done. Psychiatric evaluations were done by child and adolescent psychiatrists. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was diagnosed using criteria from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition.
The prevalence of PSTD in the affected students were 57.3, 46.1, 31.6, 10.4, and 7.6% at 6 weeks, 6 months, 1 year, 1 1/2 years, and 2 years, respectively. The female: male ratio was 1.7:1. The peak age was 9-10 years old. Threatened situations were studied. Of the 176 students who risked their lives in the waves, 48 (27.3%) suffered from PTSD. Meanwhile, of the 1314 students who were not hit by the waves but were among affected friends and relatives, 42 students (3.1%) suffered from PTSD. The prevalence of PTSD in those hit by the waves were significantly higher than those who were not [p-value < 0.01, RR = 5.16 (4.04-.6.6)].
The prevalence of PSTD in children who suffered from the tsunami disaster was as high as 57.3% at six weeks after the incident. It declined sharply at two years (7.6%) with the help of integrated welfare. The children continue to get financial, rehabilitation, and mental health support to prevent long-term adverse outcomes.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background On March 11, 2011, Japan was struck by a massive earthquake and tsunami. The tsunami caused tremendous damage and traumatized several people, including children. The aim of this study was to assess changes in traumatic symptoms 8, 20, and 30 months of the 2011 tsunami. Methods The study comprised three groups. Copies of the Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms for Children 15 items (PTSSC-15), a self-rating questionnaire on traumatic symptoms, were distributed to 12,524 children (8-month period), 12,193 children (20-month period), and 11,819 children (30-month period). An effective response of children 8 months, 20 months, and 30 month after the disaster was obtained in 11,639 (92.9%), 10,597 (86.9%), and 10,812 children (91.4%), respectively. We calculated the total score, PTSD subscale, and Depression subscale of PTSSC-15. We calculated the total score, PTSD subscale, and Depression subscale of PTSSC-15. Results The PTSSC-15 total score and PTSD subscale of children belonging to 1st–9th grade groups who were tested 30 and 20 months after the tsunami significantly decreased compared with those of children tested 8 months after the tsunami. The PTSSC-15 total score and PTSD subscale of children in 1st–9th grade groups tested after 30 months did not decrease significantly compared with those of children tested after 20 months. The PTSSC-15 Depression subscale and PTSD subscale of children in 1st–9th grade groups tested after 30 months significantly decreased compared with those of children tested 8 months after the tsunami. The PTSSC-15 Depression subscale of children in 1st–9th grade groups evaluated after 30 months significantly decreased compared with those of children evaluated after 20 months. Conclusions This study demonstrates that the traumatic symptoms of children who survived the massive tsunami improved with time. Nonetheless, the traumatic symptoms, which in some cases did not improve with time.
    PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0110898 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background In 2009, an earthquake devastated the Abruzzo region in Italy. Despite the occurrence of several disasters in this country, no study on mental health of Italian children has ever been conducted in complex emergencies. Objective of the study was to assess the prevalence of psychiatric symptoms among children in the affected area 12 to 17 months after the event.MethodsA community sample of 1839 3-14 years children was identified from the general population assigned to 37 paediatricians of the National Health System, including children living in the earthquake epicentre, the surrounding earthquake zone, and the adjacent non-affected areas. Psychiatric symptoms were assessed with the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the Youth Self Report (YSR), completed by 452 children aged 11¿14 years. The association between symptoms and sociodemographic, health, family, and earthquake-related factors was examined.ResultsThe prevalence of CBCL-defined cases was 14.9% in the epicentre, 13.0% in the remainder earthquake zone, 13.9% in the unaffected area (p¿=¿.876). No differences among areas were found when comparing the YSR results. Prevalence of CBCL-defined post-traumatic stress (PTS) cases was 8.4% in the epicentre, 4.0% in the remainder earthquake zone, 2.2% in the unaffected area (p¿=¿.002). PTS and anxiety were significantly more frequent in the epicentre than in other areas only in the 6¿10 year-old children group (respectively p¿=¿.009 and p¿=¿.014). In multivariate logistic analyses, factors associated with PTS were living in the epicentre (OR¿=¿3.6) and child or maternal history of mental health care prior to the earthquake (respectively OR¿=¿7.1 and OR¿=¿4.5).Conclusions Children living in the epicentre, particularly those 6¿10 years old, had the highest prevalence of CBCL-defined cases, and of PTS and anxiety symptoms one year after the earthquake. No signs of increased psychopathology were detected in younger (3¿5 years) or older children (11¿14 years). Family and health related factors showed stronger association with psychiatric outcomes than earthquake-related factors. The identification of populations at higher risk of developing psychiatric symptoms has implications for public health interventions in complex emergencies.
    BMC Psychiatry 09/2014; 14(1):270. DOI:10.1186/s12888-014-0270-3 · 2.24 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background On March 11, 2011, a massive undersea earthquake and tsunami struck East Japan. Few studies have investigated the impact of exposure to a natural disaster on preschool children. We investigated the association of trauma experiences during the Great East Japan Earthquake on clinically significant behavior problems among preschool children 2 years after the earthquake. Method Participants were children who were exposed to the 2011 disaster at preschool age (affected area, n = 178; unaffected area, n = 82). Data were collected from September 2012 to June 2013 (around 2 years after the earthquake), thus participants were aged 5 to 8 years when assessed. Severe trauma exposures related to the earthquake (e.g., loss of family members) were assessed by interview, and trauma events in the physical environment related to the earthquake (e.g. housing damage), and other trauma exposure before the earthquake, were assessed by questionnaire. Behavior problems were assessed by caregivers using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), which encompasses internalizing, externalizing, and total problems. Children who exceeded clinical cut-off of the CBCL were defined as having clinically significant behavior problems. Results Rates of internalizing, externalizing, and total problems in the affected area were 27.7%, 21.2%, and 25.9%, respectively. The rate ratio suggests that children who lost distant relatives or friends were 2.36 times more likely to have internalizing behavior problems (47.6% vs. 20.2%, 95% CI: 1.10–5.07). Other trauma experiences before the earthquake also showed significant positive association with internalizing, externalizing, and total behavior problems, which were not observed in the unaffected area. Conclusions One in four children still had behavior problems even 2 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Children who had other trauma experiences before the earthquake were more likely to have behavior problems. These data will be useful for developing future interventions in child mental health after a natural disaster.
    PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e109342. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0109342 · 3.53 Impact Factor


Available from