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Association between earthquake exposures and mental health outcomes in adults after the 2015 Nepal Earthquakes.

Dr. Jessica Schwind

In 2015, two strong earthquakes, as well as continuous, high magnitude aftershocks, struck Nepal. Phulpingdanda village was greatly impacted due to its lack of infrastructure and environmental remoteness. Adults from sampled households were surveyed 1-year later to examine the association between earthquake exposures and indicators of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and resilience. Results showed 33% of surveyed residents screened positive for depression, 9% screened positive for severe PTSD, and 46% displayed moderate to high resilience. Additionally, participants experienced resource loss (100%), damaged home and goods (99%), and exposure to the grotesque (82%). Traumatic earthquake experiences related to personal harm were associated with symptoms of depression and PTSD and resource loss was associated with depressive symptoms. Earthquake experiences associated with less damage to home and goods, but greater exposure to the grotesque were associated with increased resilience. This research adds to our knowledge of the relationship between traumatic exposures and indicators of psychological distress and resilience following a disaster.

Association Between Earthquake Exposures and Mental Health Outcomes in Phulpingdanda Village After the 2015 Nepal Earthquakes” was recently published in Community Mental Health Journal.

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