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Posttraumatic stress disorder is one of the most studied outcomes after a disaster. Posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) are maladaptive and disabling and can severely impair affected individuals' psychosocial functioning and quality of life. Consequently, the objective of this research is to investigate the prevalence of PTSS and physical illness among disaster victims.We analyzed disaster victims' survey data in South Korea 1 year after a natural disaster (n = 1659). Then, we performed multivariable comparisons of social and work adjustments between individuals with PTSS and individuals with physical illness to examine the association between PTSS and functional impairment.Individuals with PTSS had a significant association with work and social maladjustments whether or not they had a physical illness; PTSS (+) physical illness (-) group (OR: 1.18, CI: 1.12-1.26, P < 0.001) and PTSS (+) physical illness (+) group (OR: 1.16, CI: 1.08-1.23, P < 0.001). Interestingly, this association was not significant in the group that exclusively presented physical illness.Our results suggest that PTSS might be a critical factor in social maladjustment during the post-disaster period. Subsequently, an assessment of disaster victims' PTSS would help ensure effective medical and governmental approaches to assist disaster victims.

Citation

Amira Trabsa, Nabin Lee, Jung Hyun Lee. Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms, Physical Illness, and Social Adjustment Among Disaster Victims. Disaster medicine and public health preparedness. 2022 May 20:1-7


PMID: 35593424

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