How does impact of objective and subjective disaster exposure relate to the three clusters of posttraumatic stress symptoms?

Ikizer G., KARANCI A. N., Doğulu C.

ANADOLU PSIKIYATRI DERGISI-ANATOLIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, vol.17, no.3, pp.209-213, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.5455/apd.201001
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.209-213
  • Keywords: earthquake, trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, DISORDER, EARTHQUAKE, SURVIVORS
  • TED University Affiliated: No


Objective: Around the globe, millions of people are exposed to disasters annually. Disasters may result in a wide range of psychological consequences in adult populations, including posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTS). However, little is known about the effects of the impacts of type of disaster exposure on the symptoms of PTS. This study aimed to understand the effects of objective and subjective impact severity of disaster exposure on symptoms of PTS in the aftermath of two earthquakes which struck Van, Turkey in 2011. Methods: Three hundred and sixty earthquake survivors from districts with different levels of earthquake exposure participated in the study. Consistent with the aims of the study, the participants responded to the Impact of Event Scale-Revised and a measure of earthquake exposure severity. The relationship between symptom clusters and impact of disaster exposure was examined through a multivariate analysis of variance. Results: The findings demonstrated differential effects of type of disaster exposure severity on the symptom clusters of PTS, showing that the two core clusters, re-experiencing and avoidance, differentially related to levels of subjective and objective impact of disaster exposure while symptoms of hyperarousal were commonly reported in survivors who experienced high levels of impact irrespective of the type of exposure. Discussion: This study provided empirical evidence for an important distinction regarding impact of exposure between symptom clusters of PTSD. The findings may guide the development or planning of psychoeducation-based interventions with differential focus on posttraumatic stress symptoms for survivors having different levels of objective and/or subjective impact of exposure.