PTSD among children and adolescents after earthquakes and floods

Added July 2, 2021

Citation: Rezayat AA, Sahebdel S, Jafari S, et al. Evaluating the prevalence of PTSD among children and adolescents after earthquakes and floods: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychiatric Quarterly. 2020;91(4):1265-90.

What is this?

Disasters caused by natural hazards can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the affected populations, including children and adolescents.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for studies of the prevalence of PTSD in children and adolescents following earthquakes and floods. They restricted their searches to articles published in English between 1981 and 2019. They included 59 studies, of which 39 were included in meta-analyses.

What was found?

Among children and adolescents exposed to earthquakes and floods, the prevalence of PTSD within the first, second, third, and fourth six-month intervals after the disaster were 19%, 30%, 24%, and 18%, respectively.

The prevalence of PTSD primarily increased during the time after the disaster, but eventually decreased.

The prevalence of PTSD among girls was significantly higher than among boys, as were the recovery rates.

Implications: The authors suggested that rapid screening tests and continuous observation are needed for children and adolescents after disasters and that psychological support should be provided to them, especially girls.


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