Evaluating the Prevalence of PTSD among Children and Adolescents after Earthquakes and Floods : a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Our study systematically reviews articles about the prevalence of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among children and adolescents, aiming to evaluate its prevalence after earthquakes and floods.Three databases (PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science) were searched for articles published from 1981 to 2019 containing information on PTSD prevalence among survivors of earthquakes and floods. Articles with insufficient data on the prevalence of PTSD or without any available full-text were excluded.


Major study variables consist of the prevalence of PTSD of the included studies, gender, and the elapsed time after the disaster. The overall PTSD prevalence was determined using a fixed-effect model for eligible studies. Of 4107 studies listed using our search strategy, 439 underwent full-text review, 59 records included in the systematic review, and 39 records met the criteria for meta-analysis. The pooled prevalence of PTSD among children and adolescent survivors after earthquakes and floods was 19.2% (95%CI = 18.6–19.7%), 30.0% (95%CI = 29.5–30.6%), 24.4% (95%CI = 23.4–25.4%) and 20.4% (95%CI = 19.1–21.7%), in the first, second, third and fourth six-month intervals after the disaster, respectively.


Our analysis also revealed that PTSD was more prevalent among girls (p < 0.001). The absence of psychological support for affected areas considerably increases the risk of PTSD among survivors. Our results indicated that children and adolescents, especially girls, are more vulnerable and should be in top priority. The governments should refine their policies on post-disaster services and run early screening, immediate intervention, and ongoing monitoring for PTSD, as well as mental and emotional supports.

In: Psychiatric Quarterly : ISSN: 0033-2720 | 91 | december
Adolescents, Children, Disasters, Earthquakes, Epidemiology, Floods, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Psychotrauma, PTSD (en)