Psychological consequences of the 1998 landslide in Sarno, Italy: a community study

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2001 Dec;104(6):438-42. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0447.2001.00512.x.


Objective: This community study assessed the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the psychosocial consequences of the landslide which occurred in Sarno, Southern Italy, in May 1998.

Method: A random sample (n=272) of the population living in the highest risk area of Sarno, and a control group recruited in a small town situated near the disaster area, but not affected by the event, were assessed 1 year after the disaster by standardized instruments.

Results: Of the subjects recruited in Sarno, 27.6% met DSM-IV criteria for PTSD; 59% subjects recruited in Sarno and 35% of the control group were identified as "probable cases" by the GHQ-30 (P<0.0001). Subjects recruited in Sarno had significantly higher scores on the four GHQ-30 subscales identified by factor analysis.

Conclusion: This study emphasizes the negative impact of a natural catastrophic event on mental health, and the need for preventive interventions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Demography
  • Disasters*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sampling Studies
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires