BACKGROUND: On April 6th 2009, the town of L'Aquila, Italy, was struck by an earthquake (6.3 on the Richter scale) that lead large parts of the town to be destroyed and the death of 309 people. Significant losses in the framework of earthquakes have been reported as a major risk factor for PTSD development. Aim of this study was to investigate post-traumatic spectrum symptoms in a sample of adolescents exposed to the L'Aquila 2009 earthquake 21 months earlier, with particular attention to the impact of loss. METHODS: 475 students (203 women and 272 men), attending the last year of High School in L'Aquila, were assessed by: Trauma and Loss Spectrum-Self Report (TALS-SR) and Impact of Event Scale (IES). The presence of full and partial PTSD was also assessed. RESULTS: 72 students (15.2%) reported the loss of a close friend or relative in the framework of the earthquake. Full PTSD was reported by 146 (30.7%) students and partial PTSD by 149 (31.4%) students. There was a significant difference reported in PTSD between bereaved and non bereaved subjects. Significantly higher post-traumatic symptom levels were reported by bereaved subjects. LIMITATIONS: The lack of information on the relationship with the deceased and the number of losses experienced, besides the use of self report instruments are the limitations of this study. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show high rates of post-traumatic spectrum symptoms in adolescents who survived the L'Aquila earthquake. Having experienced the loss of a close friend or a relative in the framework of the earthquake seems to be related to higher PTSD rates and more severe symptomatology. These results highlight the need to carefully explore adolescents exposed to a significant loss as consequence of an earthquake.

Impact of traumatic loss on post-traumatic spectrum symptoms in high school students after the L'Aquila 2009 earthquake in Italy.

DELL'OSSO, LILIANA;CARMASSI, CLAUDIA;MASSIMETTI, GABRIELE;Conversano C;
2011

Abstract

BACKGROUND: On April 6th 2009, the town of L'Aquila, Italy, was struck by an earthquake (6.3 on the Richter scale) that lead large parts of the town to be destroyed and the death of 309 people. Significant losses in the framework of earthquakes have been reported as a major risk factor for PTSD development. Aim of this study was to investigate post-traumatic spectrum symptoms in a sample of adolescents exposed to the L'Aquila 2009 earthquake 21 months earlier, with particular attention to the impact of loss. METHODS: 475 students (203 women and 272 men), attending the last year of High School in L'Aquila, were assessed by: Trauma and Loss Spectrum-Self Report (TALS-SR) and Impact of Event Scale (IES). The presence of full and partial PTSD was also assessed. RESULTS: 72 students (15.2%) reported the loss of a close friend or relative in the framework of the earthquake. Full PTSD was reported by 146 (30.7%) students and partial PTSD by 149 (31.4%) students. There was a significant difference reported in PTSD between bereaved and non bereaved subjects. Significantly higher post-traumatic symptom levels were reported by bereaved subjects. LIMITATIONS: The lack of information on the relationship with the deceased and the number of losses experienced, besides the use of self report instruments are the limitations of this study. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show high rates of post-traumatic spectrum symptoms in adolescents who survived the L'Aquila earthquake. Having experienced the loss of a close friend or a relative in the framework of the earthquake seems to be related to higher PTSD rates and more severe symptomatology. These results highlight the need to carefully explore adolescents exposed to a significant loss as consequence of an earthquake.
Dell'Osso, Liliana; Carmassi, Claudia; Massimetti, Gabriele; Conversano, C; Daneluzzo, E; Riccardi, I; Stratta, P; Rossi, A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/203782
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