Objectives: To assess and compare the prevalence of psychological morbidity among survivors of the 2005 northern Pakistan earthquake from Azad Kashmir and the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP).
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study among randomly sampled survivors (N = 361) of the earthquake living in camps at the time of the interview, approximately 6 months after the earthquake.
Results: The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in the total sample was 51.5% and the prevalence of individuals who received positive scores on the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL) was 75%. The prevalence rates for anxiety and depression symptoms were 77.3% and 70.9%, respectively. The prevalence in Azad Kashmir was 57.9% for PTSD and 79.8% for positive HSCL, and NWFP had 41.3% PTSD and 67.4% positive HSCL. Study subjects from Azad Kashmir were approximately 2 times as likely to have PTSD or a positive HSCL when compared to subjects from NWFP (odds ratio 1.95, confidence interval 1.27-3.0; P = .0024) and (odds ratio 1.91, confidence interval 1.18-3.1; P = .0085), respectively.
Conclusions: Nearly half of the northern Pakistan earthquake survivors had symptoms of PTSD. Six months after the incident, more than three-fourths exhibited symptoms of an anxiety disorder.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2011;5:293–299)