Long-term psychological outcome for non-treatment-seeking earthquake survivors in Turkey

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2003 Mar;191(3):154-60. doi: 10.1097/01.NMD.0000054931.12291.50.


This study examined the incidence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression in 586 earthquake survivors living in prefabricated housing sites a mean of 20 months after the 1999 earthquake in Turkey. The estimated rates of PTSD and major depression were 39% and 18%, respectively. More severe PTSD symptoms related to greater fear during the earthquake, female gender, older age, participation in rescue work, having been trapped under rubble, and personal history of psychiatric illness. More severe depression symptoms related to older age, loss of close ones, single marital status, past psychiatric illness, previous trauma experience, female gender, and family history of psychiatric illness. These findings suggest that catastrophic earthquakes have long-term psychological consequences, particularly for survivors with high levels of trauma exposure. These findings lend further support to the need for long-term mental health care policies for earthquake survivors. Outreach service delivery programs are needed to access non-treatment-seeking survivors with chronic PTSD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Disasters*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Rescue Work / statistics & numerical data
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Turkey / epidemiology