Traumatic Stress Responses in Earthquake Survivors in Turkey

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This study examined the rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression and associated risk factors in earthquake survivors in Turkey. A group of 1,000 people from 3 camps and 2 prefabricated housing sites in the epicenter region was assessed using the Screening Instrument for Traumatic Stress in Earthquake Survivors. The estimated rates of PTSD and major depression were 43 and 31%, respectively. Traumatic stress symptoms related to more intense fear during the earthquake, female gender, having been trapped under rubble, death of a family member, past psychiatric illness, having participated in rescue work, and lower education. Avoidance of trauma reminders was the most common symptom and needs special attention in survivor care because of its mental health, social, and economic implications.

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