Prevalence of Psychopathology and Sociodemographic Characteristics among Earthquake Survivors in Eastern Azerbaijan, Iran

Amir Askari, Kevin Rowell, Fardin Alipour
2015 Health in Emergencies & Disasters Quarterly  
This study aimed to prospectively analyze the effect of a major earthquake on the prevalence of psychological disorders such as acute stress disorder (ASD), anxiety, depression, mixed anxiety depression disorder (MADD), phobia, aggressive behavior, insomnia, psychosomatic disorders and also sociodemographic aspects among residents of rural community sample in East Azerbaijan, Iran. Materials and Methods: The sample was composed of 801 adults exposed to the earthquake. Two months after the
more » ... ths after the earthquake, all subjects were surveyed with measures administrated in a standard order as follows: demographic data sheet, disaster experiences scale (DES), general health questionnaire (GHQ), and symptom checklist 90-revised (SCL-90-R). Results: The results revealed that 23% of the survivors in the exposed group had ASD, 10% had anxiety symptoms, 7.5% depression, 4% MADD, 5% psychosomatic disorders, 10% phobia, 7% aggressive behavior, and 10% insomnia. Conclusion: This article has summarized the current status of information on mental disorders caused by experiencing or witnessing a life threatening severe earthquake. The experience of fear, helplessness, and panic during the earthquake, and the appraisal by the victims of serious psychological, social, as well as demographical consequences after the earthquake, were positively related to the subscale scores and the total score of GHQ, SCL-90-R, and DES.
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