The aim of this study was to identify long-term post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in Aceh 4.5 years after the tsunami and to examine whether certain factors affected the severity of PTSD symptoms among adolescents. The PTSD symptoms of 482 adolescents aged 11 to 19 years were assessed according to the Child Post-Traumatic Stress Reaction Index (CPTSD-RI). The severity of the disaster was identified by the Traumatic Exposure Severity Scale (TESS). Of the adolescents who completed the questionnaire, 54 (11.2%), 124 (25.7%), 196 (40.7%), 103 (21.4%) and 5 (1%), respectively, reported none, mild, moderate, severe and very severe symptoms on CPTSD-RI. Gender, loss of parents, somatic response and support level were significantly associated with the total score on CPTSD-RI (P < 0.05). The TESS-Occurrence Scale and CPTSD-RI were significantly correlated (r= 0.33, P < 0.05). The TESS-Distress Scale was significantly correlated with CPTSD-RI (r= 0.48, P < 0.05). The study indicated that the symptoms of PTSD, ranging from very severe to moderate, could persist for a long time after the tsunami and be affected by gender, loss of parents, somatic response, support level and severity of the disaster.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing.