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The role of peri-traumatic stress and disruption distress in predicting post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms following exposure to a natural disaster

  • Joseph M. Boden (a1), David M. Fergusson (a1), L. John Horwood (a1) and Roger T. Mulder (a1)
Abstract
Background

Few studies have examined the contribution of specific disaster-related experiences to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

Aims

To examine the roles of peri-traumatic stress and distress due to lingering disaster-related disruption in explaining linkages between disaster exposure and PTSD symptoms among a cohort exposed to the 2010–2011 Canterbury (New Zealand) earthquakes.

Method

Structural equation models were fitted to data obtained from the Christchurch Health and Development Study at age 35 (n=495), 20–24 months following the onset of the disaster. Measures included: earthquake exposure, peri-traumatic stress, disruption distress and PTSD symptoms.

Results

The associations between earthquake exposure and PTSD symptoms were explained largely by the experience of peri-traumatic stress during the earthquakes (β=0.189, P<0.0001) and disruption distress following the earthquakes (β=0.105, P<0.0001).

Conclusions

The results suggest the importance of minimising post-event disruption distress following exposure to a natural disaster.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Joseph M. Boden, PhD, Associate Professor, Christchurch Health and Development Study, University of Otago, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand. Email: joseph.boden@otago.ac.nz
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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The role of peri-traumatic stress and disruption distress in predicting post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms following exposure to a natural disaster

  • Joseph M. Boden (a1), David M. Fergusson (a1), L. John Horwood (a1) and Roger T. Mulder (a1)
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