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Posttraumatic Stress, Depression, and Coping Following the 2015 Nepal Earthquake: A Study on Adolescents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 May 2018

Asmita Sharma
Department of Paediatric Nursing, Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
Nilamadhab Kar*
Black Country Partnership National Health Service Foundation Trust, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Correspondence and reprint requests to Nilamadhab Kar, Consultant Psychiatrist, Steps to Health, Showell Circus, Low Hill, Wolverahampton, WV10 9TH, United Kingdom (e-mail:



The study aimed to gather data on posttraumatic stress and depression in adolescents following the 2015 Nepal earthquake and explore the adolescents’ coping strategies.


In a questionnaire-based, cross-sectional study about 1 year after the earthquake, adolescents in two districts with different degrees of impact were evaluated for disaster experience, coping strategies, and symptoms of posttraumatic stress and depression measured with the Child Posttraumatic Stress Scale and the Depression Self Rating Scale.


In the studied sample (N=409), the estimated prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (43.3%) and depression (38.1%) was considerable. Prevalence of PTSD was significantly higher in the more affected area (49.0% v 37.9%); however, the prevalence figures were comparable in adolescents who reported a stress. The prevalence of depression was comparable. Female gender, joint family, financial problems, displacement, injury or being trapped in the earthquake, damage to livelihood, and fear of death were significantly associated with a probable PTSD diagnosis. Various coping strategies were used: talking to others, praying, helping others, hoping for the best, and some activities were common. Drug abuse was rare. Most of the coping strategies were comparable among the clinical groups.


A considerable proportion of adolescents had posttraumatic stress and depression 1 year after the earthquake. There is a need for clinical interventions and follow-up studies regarding the outcome. Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:236–242)

Original Research
Copyright © Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc. 2018 

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