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Sixteen-year follow-up of childhood avalanche survivors

Sixteen-year follow-up of childhood avalanche survivors

Title: Sixteen-year follow-up of childhood avalanche survivors
Author: Þórðardóttir, Edda Björk
Valdimarsdottir, Unnur   orcid.org/0000-0001-5382-946X
Hansdóttir, Ingunn   orcid.org/0000-0001-9502-327X
Hauksdóttir, Arna   orcid.org/0000-0002-4253-1059
Dyregrov, Atle
Shipherd, Jillian C.
Elklit, Ask
Resnick, Heidi
Guðmundsdóttir, Berglind
Date: 2016-08-16
Language: English
Scope: 30995
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Heilbrigðisvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Health Sciences (UI)
Department: Miðstöð í lýðheilsuvísindum (HÍ)
The Centre of Public Health Sciences (UI)
Sálfræðideild (HÍ)
Faculty of Psychology (UI)
Series: European Journal of Psychotraumatology;7(1)
ISSN: 2000-8198
2000-8066 (eISSN)
DOI: 10.3402/ejpt.v7.30995
Subject: Children; Disaster; Avalanche; Posttraumatic stress disorder; Long term follow up; Börn; Náttúruhamfarir; Snjóflóð; Áfallastreita
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/1929

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Miranda Olff, Ananda Amstadter, Cherie Armour, Marianne S. Birkeland, Eric Bui, Marylene Cloitre, Anke Ehlers, Julian D. Ford, Talya Greene, Maj Hansen, Ruth Lanius, Neil Roberts, Rita Rosner, Siri Thoresen. (2019) A decennial review of psychotraumatology: what did we learn and where are we going?. European Journal of Psychotraumatology 10:1. Heidrun Hlodversdottir, Harpa Thorsteinsdottir, Edda Bjork Thordardottir, Urdur Njardvik, Gudrun Petursdottir, Arna Hauksdottir. (2018) Long-term health of children following the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption: a prospective cohort study. European Journal of Psychotraumatology 9:sup2. Gerasimos Kolaitis. (2017) Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents. European Journal of Psychotraumatology 8:sup4.


Background Every year a substantial number of children are affected by natural disasters worldwide. However, data are scarce on long-term psychological impact of natural disasters on children's health. Identifying risk factors and outcomes associated with the long-term sequelae of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can provide a gateway to recovery as well as enhancement of preventive measures. Objective Among childhood avalanche survivors, we aimed to investigate risk factors for PTSD symptoms and the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and PTSD symptoms in adulthood. Methods Childhood survivors (aged 2–19 at the time of exposure) of two avalanches were identified through nationwide registers 16 years later. The Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale was used to assess current PTSD symptoms. One-way ANOVA was used to explore PTSD symptoms by background and trauma-specific factors, as well as associations with current SES. Predictors of PTSD symptoms were examined by multivariable regression analysis. Results Response rate was 66% (108/163). Results from univariate ANOVA analysis revealed that female sex was associated with PTSD symptoms (F=5.96, p<0.05). When adjusted for age and sex, PTSD symptoms were associated with lower education (F=7.62, p<0.001), poor financial status (F=12.21, p<0.001), and unemployment and/or disability (F=3.04, p<0.05). In a multivariable regression model, when adjusting for age and sex, lack of social support (t=4.22, p<0.001) and traumatic reactions of caregivers (t=2.49, p<0.05) in the aftermath of the disaster independently predicted PTSD 16 years post-trauma. Conclusions Lingering PTSD symptoms after childhood exposure to a disaster may negatively influence socioeconomic development in adulthood. Strengthening children's support systems post-disaster may prevent the long-term sequelae of symptoms.


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