Predictors of Posttraumatic Outcomes Following the 1999 Taiwan Earthquake

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This cross-sectional study examined 10-month outcomes in survivors after the 1999 earthquake in Taiwan. Two hundred fifty-two randomly selected subjects were interviewed to assess the following: categorical assignment to full or partial posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD/PTSS), symptoms of PTSD, and general psychiatric morbidity. Using regression models, the following potential independent predictor variables were evaluated: age, gender, earthquake exposure, previous trauma, current depression, and general well-being. Variables predictive of PTSD/PTSS included female gender and current depression. Current depression and impaired well-being were predicted by greater PTSD severity. Greater psychiatric morbidity was predicted by female gender, current depression, number of traumatic experiences, and impaired well-being. These variables, particularly female gender, current depression, and impaired well-being, should be considered in assessing earthquake survivors who are at increased risk for developing posttraumatic sequelae.

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