Correlates of persisting posttraumatic symptoms in children and adolescents 18 months after a cyclone disaster

Mcdermott, Brett, Cobham, Vanessa, Berry, Helen and Kim, Bungnyun (2014) Correlates of persisting posttraumatic symptoms in children and adolescents 18 months after a cyclone disaster. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48 1: 80-86. doi:10.1177/0004867413500349


Author Mcdermott, Brett
Cobham, Vanessa
Berry, Helen
Kim, Bungnyun
Title Correlates of persisting posttraumatic symptoms in children and adolescents 18 months after a cyclone disaster
Journal name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-8674
1440-1614
Publication date 2014-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0004867413500349
Open Access Status
Volume 48
Issue 1
Start page 80
End page 86
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: To describe PTSD symptom persistence and resolution, including the potential phenomenon of late-onset PTSD, in children and adolescents 18 months after a cyclone disaster; and to investigate factors that predict longer-term symptom outcome.
Method: 71 children and 191 adolescents who were screened three months after a Category 5 Cyclone were rescreened 18 months post-disaster. Child-report measures included the PTSD Reaction Index, measures of event exposure and social connectedness.
Results: Approximately 1-in-5 children and 1-in-12 adolescents endorsed cyclone-related PTSD symptoms at the moderate to severe level 18 months post-disaster. Of these approximately one-half (44.8%) of children were in the 'high-persister' group at 18-month follow-up. Persistence of low symptoms was very common (97.6%) and late-onset PTSD was a rare phenomenon. This pattern was similar in adolescents: 25.0% were in the 'high-persister' group and few students experienced late-onset PTSD. In multivariate analysis, only initial severe to very severe PTSD category made a significant independent contribution to explaining persisting moderate to severe PTSD symptoms in primary school students (ORadj=8.33, 95% CI=1.45-47.84). There was a trend for a similar result in secondary students.
Conclusion: A child or adolescent with few PTSD symptoms three months post-disaster is likely to remain so unless a further traumatic event occurs. However, if symptomatic at three months, there is approximately a 30-45% chance that the child or adolescent will still be symptomatic 18 months after the disaster. Given the high rate of students in the 'resolver' group, initial posttraumatic symptoms are a necessary but not sufficient condition for predicting chronic symptomatology. Other targets for predictive modelling include initial threat perception and high and low social connectedness.
Keyword Adolescents
Children
Longitudinal
Posttraumatic stress disorder
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 23 August 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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