Effectiveness of psychoeducation intervention on post-traumatic stress disorder and coping styles of earthquake survivors

J Clin Nurs. 2008 Mar;17(5):677-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2007.02047.x.


Aims and objectives: The aim of the study was to examine the effectiveness of a psychoeducation intervention based on Peplau's approach, including problem-solving compared with intervention with medication on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and coping of earthquake survivors.

Background: Post-traumatic reactions and recovery are the result of complex interactions among biological, personal, cultural and environmental factors. Both psychosocial and psychopharmacological methods have been advised to treat PTSD. The general goal of treatment is to decrease the anxiety and to support these patients in regaining normal daily functions.

Design: The study used a pretest to posttest quasi-experimental design with three comparison groups.

Methods: The sample of the study included 51 survivors of the Marmara Earthquake who met diagnostic criteria for PTSD. Comparison groups were made up as psychoeducation only, medication only and psychoeducation with medication (PEM). Six semi-structured psychoeducation sessions were conducted individually. Patients in the 'medication only' group did not participate in these sessions. The Clinician Administered PTSD Scale, Hamilton Depression Scale and Coping Strategies Scale were used for the measurements.

Results: There was a significant difference between the 'PEM' group and the 'medication only' group with the first group showing greater relief of symptoms. Generally, there were no differences between the 'medication only' and 'psychoeducation only' groups. Avoidance as a coping strategy had significant positive correlations with PTSD and depression outcomes.

Conclusions: Patients with PTSD seem to take more advantage from the combined treatment model. Nurses can help the patients with PTSD by teaching them to cope with the symptoms.

Relevance to clinical practice: The number and variety of catastrophic events in the world are increasing. Psychiatric nurses should therefore take responsibility regarding the effects of trauma and investigate the ways of working with people who experienced trauma in more detail and develop interventions based on scientific evidence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Disasters*
  • Humans
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Survivors / psychology*