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Original Papers

Posttraumatic stress disorder among adolescents exposed to the ammunition depot blast at Salawa, Sri Lanka – a descriptive study

Authors:

H. H. S. Kaushalya,

University of Ruhuna, LK
About H. H. S.
Nursing Degree Programme, Faculty of Medicine
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T. Ponnamperuma

University of Ruhuna, LK
About T.
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Background

Beyond the immediate physical consequences of the disaster, trauma exposure may cause lasting mental health problems especially in young people.

 

Aim

The objective of this study was to investigate the trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and the association between trauma exposure and PTSS among the adolescents in Salawa area, who were exposed to the explosion that took place on 5th June 2016 at the ammunition dump of Salawa army camp.

 

Methodology

A cross sectional study was conducted eight months after the explosion, among all adolescents in the Salawa ammunition dump area. A self-administered screening instrument was used to assess the nature of the exposure to the blast. The University of California at Los Angeles Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Reaction Index (UCLA PTSD-RI) was used to measure the cumulative trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress symptoms.

 

Results

A total of 108 adolescents (68.4% females), with a mean age of 14.3 (SD=2.12) were included in the survey. Diagnostic criterion for full and partial PTSD was met by 34.2% and 37.0% of the participants, respectively. The occurrence of PTSD was significantly associated with the severity of the ammunition blast (b=3.31, p<0.001) and multiple trauma exposure (b=7.60, p<0.001), but was not significantly associated with age or gender.

 

Conclusions

There was a relatively high prevalence of PTSD among the adolescents exposed to the blast. Psychological support is needed for these adolescents, and further research is recommended to conduct evidence based interventions in this posttrauma setting.
How to Cite: Kaushalya, H.H.S. & Ponnamperuma, T., (2017). Posttraumatic stress disorder among adolescents exposed to the ammunition depot blast at Salawa, Sri Lanka – a descriptive study. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry. 8(2), pp.9–13. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v8i2.8154
Published on 19 Dec 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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