Naeem Aslam, Anila Kamal.
Stress, anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder among general population affected by floods in Pakistan.
Pak J Med Res Jan ;55(1):29-32.
Background: Natural disasters evoke certain distressful traumatic reactions which impede the lives of the survivors. The flood in July 2010 were one of the Pakistan’s largest natural disasters. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of stress, anxiety, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder among adults exposed to 2010 floods in Pakistan. Study type, settings and duration: Cross sectional study done in flood affected areas of Pakistan. Data was collected from February 2013 to May 2013. Subjects and Methods: Sample of the study comprised of 2000 individuals. The data was collected from highly flood affected areas like Mianwali, Muzafar Garh, and Dera Ghazi Khan from Punjab, Nowshera and Peshawar from Kyber Pukhtunkhwa and Neelum Valley form Azad Jammu Kashmir. Data was collected by using convenient sampling technique. Stress, Anxiety and depression were measured by using Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale. Posttraumatic stress disorder was assessed using the self-report measure, Impact of Event Scale. Results: Age range of the participants was between 15 to 65 years (Mean 28.7, SD = 7.1), for both genders. After about three years of floods, posttraumatic stress disorder was still present in both genders. However, it was higher among females and unemployed individuals. Moreover, higher exposure to flood was positively associated with posttraumatic stress disorder whereas, age, and education were negatively related with distress and posttraumatic stress disorder. Conclusion: Psychological disorders persists for several years after the disaster and results in significant personal distress. Policy message: The association between psychological distress, gender, age, education and employment status has to be taken into consideration when mental health policies for flood-survivors are planned at the national level. Key words: Stress, anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, prevalence, flood affectees.
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