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International Adoption of Children Surviving the Haitian Earthquake

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2017

Julie Pascal
Affiliation:
Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, CHU, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Marion Décombas-Marion
Affiliation:
Centre Hospitalier Sainte Marie, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Véronique Poirier
Affiliation:
Consultation d’Orientation et de Conseils en Adoption, CHU, Clermont-Ferrand, France Unit of Pediatrics, CHU-Estaing University Teaching Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Alexandre Lautrette
Affiliation:
Medical Intensive Care Unit, Gabriel Montpied Teaching Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand, France Laboratoire Micro-organismes: Génome et Environnement (LMGE), UMR CNRS 6023, Clermont University, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Emilie Rigal
Affiliation:
Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, CHU, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Julie Sciauvaud
Affiliation:
Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, CHU, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Bruno Pereira
Affiliation:
University Hospital Biostatistics Unit (DCRI), Clermont-Ferrand, France
André Labbe
Affiliation:
Unit of Pediatrics, CHU-Estaing University Teaching Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Olivier Lesens*
Affiliation:
Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, CHU, Clermont-Ferrand, France Consultation d’Orientation et de Conseils en Adoption, CHU, Clermont-Ferrand, France Laboratoire Micro-organismes: Génome et Environnement (LMGE), UMR CNRS 6023, Clermont University, Clermont-Ferrand, France
*
Correspondence and reprint request to Olivier Lesens, Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, CHU, Clermont-Ferrand, France (e-mail: olesens@chu-clermontferrand.fr).

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate resilience and frequency of behavioral symptoms in Haitian children internationally adopted before and after the earthquake of January 12, 2010.

Methods

We conducted a retrospective quantitative study in 40 Haitian children. Families were also asked to participate in a qualitative study (individual interview at 18-24 months after the earthquake) and to complete State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and STAI for children (STAI-C) questionnaires.

Results

Demographic and clinical characteristics were similar in the group who experienced the earthquake (n=22) and in the group who did not (n=18). The families of 30 adoptees were interviewed. There was no statistical difference between the two groups for the STAI (P=0.53) and STAI-C (P=0.75) or for the frequency of behavioral problems. Plenary adoption was pronounced for 84.6% and 33.3% of the children adopted in the pre- and post-earthquake group, respectively (P=0.02). Children rarely talked about the experience of the earthquake, which, by contrast, was a stressful experience for the adoptive families.

Conclusions

Haitian children adopted after the earthquake did not express more stress or behavioral problems than those adopted before it. However, the possibility of a resurgence of mental disorders after age 10 should be borne in mind. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:450–454)

Type
Brief Report
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc. 2017 

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