Arch Iran Med. 2019;22(2):59-64.
  Abstract View: 169
  PDF Download: 219

Original Article

Bam Earthquake Survivors’ Mental Health Status 12 Years after the Earthquake: A Population-Based Study

Mohammad Baniasadi 1, Parisa Divsalar 2 * , Ahmad Ali Noorbala 3, Mahin Eslami Shahrbabaki 4, Behnaz Aflatoonian 5, Ahad Ashrafi Asgarabad 6

1 Bam University of Medical Sciences, Bam, Iran
2 Department of Psychiatry, Medical School, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran; Bam University of Medical Sciences, Bam, Iran
3 Psychosomatic Medicine Research Center, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Neuroscience Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Department of Psychiatry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
5 Research Center for Tropical and Infectious Diseases, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
6 Department of Epidemiology, Bam University of Medical Sciences, Bam, Iran

Abstract

Background: Mental health is one of the characteristic benchmarks of public health. This research aimed to evaluate mental health of survivors of the Bam earthquake which occurred in 2003 twelve years after the earthquake in fall of 2015.

Methods: The statistical population of this cross-sectional study were people over 16 years of age who were present at the time of the earthquake in the city of Bam. The sample of the study consisted of 1500 people selected from the survivors by multistage sampling. The general health questionnaire-28 was used as a screening tool for mental disorders. The independent sample test, ANOVA test, Welch test, one-sample t test and the multiple logistic regression test were used to analyze the data. The analysis of data in the current study was carried out using the SPSS-18 software.

Results: Using the GHQ Likert scoring method, the results showed 52% of the people surveyed were suspected of having mental disorders (49.93% of men and 54.27% of women). Somatization and anxiety is more frequent than severe depression in respondents. The obtained statistics revealed that the prevalence of mental disorders amplified with loss of close relatives and age (odds ratio [OR] =1.457 and 1.828 respectively). The results also indicated that widows and divorcees (66.66%), illiterates and drop-outs (57.48%) and the elderly (77.12%) had the highest average in terms of having mental disorders.

Conclusion: The results of this study showed more than half of the Bam earthquake survivors are suspected to be suffering from mental disorders. Since natural disaster-related mental illness effects can last for many years, comprehensive screening programs at regular intervals are required. Mental health services should be available to the elderly and people at risk in order to ensure restoration of mental health after a catastrophe.

Cite this article as: Baniasadi M, Divsalar P, Noorbala AA, Eslami Shahrbabaki M, Aflatoonian B, Ashrafi Asgarabad A. Bam earthquake survivors’ mental health status 12 years after the earthquake: a population-based study. Arch Iran Med. 2019;22(2):59– 64.
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Submitted: 26 Jan 2018
Accepted: 08 Dec 2018
First published online: 01 Feb 2019
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