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, 21 (1), 61-3

Psychiatric Morbidity in School Children Who Suffered a Stampede

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Psychiatric Morbidity in School Children Who Suffered a Stampede

Manjeet S Bhatia et al. Ind Psychiatry J.

Abstract

Background: Stampede is described as a sudden movement of a mass of people in response to a particular circumstance or stimulus. Human stampedes are quite often reported from crowded places like places of worship, sporting events, political rallies, etc. There are reports of development of posttraumatic stress disorder, depressive and anxiety symptoms in children and adolescents subsequent to both natural and man-made disasters. The present tragedy struck in a Government Secondary School in Delhi on September 9, 2009. The study describes the long-term psychiatric morbidity in children following stampede.

Materials and methods: The study was conducted by the department of psychiatry of a tertiary care hospital. A total of 38 children (all adolescent girls) were registered at the casualty of the hospital and 1 absconded, 5 were brought dead. A total of 32 children were included in the study. After first assessment in the casualty, subsequent assessments at 8 weeks and 6 months were done using semi-structured performa, GHQ and Child's reaction to traumatic event scale (CRTES-Revised). Data was analyzed using SPSS version 17.

Results: The age-group of the children were 12-20 years(mean 14.3), all girls, studying in grades - VII to X Eight weeks follow up GHQ score was high in 27 (87%). On CRTESQ-R scale, 22 children were in high distress group (71%). Twenty-two children had symptoms of PTSD and five were in moderate distress group. Eleven children also had a comorbid diagnosis of depressive disorder, six had phobic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. There were statistically significant differences in mean GHQ scores at baseline and at 6 months follow up. There was also significant decrease in CRTESQ-R scale scores between baseline and 6 months.

Conclusion: The children who were victims of stampede warrant the need for long-term intervention.

Keywords: Psychiatric morbidity; children; stampede.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest: None declared

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