A survey of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety and Depression among Flood Affected Populations in Kerala, India

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3126/nje.v12i2.46334

Keywords:

Flood, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, Depression

Abstract

Background: Globally, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most common psychiatric illnesses following a disaster. We aimed to evaluate the relationship between the socio-economic and flood exposure factors with PTSD, depression and anxiety among the flood-affected populations in Kerala, India.

Methods: A cross-sectional household survey was conducted from November 2019 to January 2020 in Kozhikode district of Kerala, India. Adults (≥ 18 years), who were permanent residents and had been directly exposed to the flood, were invited to take part in the study. Individuals with a history of mental health issues and those who had other stressful situations in the past were excluded. The survey questionnaire was based on three screening tools: (1) PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5); (2) patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9); and (3) generalized anxiety disorder (GAD-7). Data included sociodemographic factors and flood exposure variables. The primary outcome variable was psychiatric morbidity (PTSD, anxiety and depression).

Results: A total of 276 respondents (150 males/126 females) participated in the study. A significant correlation was observed between total score on PCL-5 and GAD-7 (r=0.339, p=0.001) and PHQ-9 (r=0.262, p=0.001). Females had significantly higher total PTSD symptom severity scores (8.24±5.88 vs. 6.07±5.22; p=0.001), severity of symptoms of intrusion (4.66±3.60 vs. 3.69±3.20; p=0.04), increased level of anxiety (2.54±1.94 vs. 1.79±1.53; p=0.001) and depression (3.02±2.26 vs. 2.04±1.67; p=0.001) compared to males. However, the gender difference for PTSD symptoms disappeared when controlling for age.

Conclusion: The findings of this survey revealed that the vast majority of respondents (92 percent females and 87 percent males) still had subclinical psychiatric symptoms one year after the flood. Therefore, tailored psychological interventions are warranted to counter the long-lasting impact of flooding on the mental health of individuals.

 

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Author Biographies

Mohammad Asim, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar.

Clinical Research, Trauma and Vascular Surgery, Surgery Department, 

Brijesh Sathian, Scientist, Geriatrics and long term care Department, Rumailah Hospital, Doha, Qatar

Scientist, Geriatrics and long term care Department, Rumailah Hospital, Doha, Qatar

Edwin van Teijlingen, Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health, Bournemouth, United Kingdom, UKCGE Recognised Research Supervisor

Professor

Ahammed A Mekkodathil, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar

Clinical Research, Trauma and Vascular Surgery, Surgery Department

M G Ramesh Babu, Manipal Academy of Higher Education [MAHE], Manipal, India

Division of Physiology, Department of Basic Medical Sciences

Elayedath Rajesh, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India 

School of Behavioural Sciences

Rajeev N Kumar, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India

Director & Associate Professor, School of Behavioural Sciences

Padam Simkhada, School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield, UK

Associate Dean International and Professor of Global Health

Indrajit Banerjee, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Medical College, Belle Rive, Vacoas-Phoenix, Mauritius

Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology

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Published

2022-06-30

How to Cite

Asim, M., Sathian, B., van Teijlingen, E., Mekkodathil, A. A., Babu, M. G. R., Rajesh, E., Kumar, R. N., Simkhada, P., & Banerjee, I. (2022). A survey of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety and Depression among Flood Affected Populations in Kerala, India . Nepal Journal of Epidemiology, 12(2), 1203–1214. https://doi.org/10.3126/nje.v12i2.46334

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Original Articles