Preliminary report of psychiatric disorders in survivors of a severe earthquake



The authors' goal was to study psychiatric morbidity after a natural disaster in rural India.


As members of a volunteer medical team assigned to 23 households in three villages in India affected by an earthquake, the authors examined the results of semi-structured interviews used to interview all of the adults (older than 14 years) in these households (N=56). DSM-III-R diagnoses were assigned on the basis of these interviews, and non-parametric tests were applied to comparisons of subjects who were or were not given a psychiatric diagnosis.


Thirty-three (59%) of the subjects received a psychiatric diagnosis; the most common diagnoses were posttraumatic stress disorder (13 subjects [23%]) and major depression (12 subjects [21%]). Psychiatric morbidity was associated with female sex, destruction of house, and destruction of possessions.


Attention to the mental health needs of disaster survivors in third world countries is indicated.

Sharan P1, Chaudhary G, Kavathekar SA, Saxena S | 1996
In: The American journal of psychiatry, ISSN 0002-953X | 153 | 4 | Apr | 556-558
Placement code: 
Yzermans collectie