Aim: To identify predictors of self-reported psychological resilience amongst medical students following major earthquakes in Canterbury in 2010 and 2011.
Methods: Two hundred and fifty-three medical students from the Christchurch campus, University of Otago, were invited to participate in an electronic survey seven months following the most severe earthquake. Students completed the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, the Post-traumatic Disorder Checklist, the Work and Adjustment Scale, and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. Likert scales and other questions were also used to assess a range of variables including demographic and historical variables (eg, self-rated resilience prior to the earthquakes), plus the impacts of the earthquakes.
Results: The response rate was 78%. Univariate analyses identified multiple variables that were significantly associated with higher resilience. Multiple linear regression analyses produced a fitted model that was able to explain 35% of the variance in resilience scores. The best predictors of higher resilience were: retrospectively-rated personality prior to the earthquakes (higher extroversion and lower neuroticism); higher self-rated resilience prior to the earthquakes; not being exposed to the most severe earthquake; and less psychological distress following the earthquakes.
Conclusion: Psychological resilience amongst medical students following major earthquakes was able to be predicted to a moderate extent.