Psychiatry Investig.  2018 Mar;15(3):261-265. 10.30773/pi.2017.06.25.

A Retrospective and Prospective Follow-up Study of Psychological Distress in the Danwon High School Survivors of the Sewol Ferry Disaster

Affiliations
  • 1Mind Health Center, Ansan, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Children Welfare Center, Incheon, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Kyungpook National University Children’s Hospital, Daegu, Republic of Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, National Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea. psyhee@hanmail.net
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea. alberto@catholic.ac.kr

Abstract


OBJECTIVE
We monitored a group of students from Danwon High School who survived the Sewol ferry disaster for 27 months to examine the course of their psychological symptoms.
METHODS
We performed a chart review at the Danwon High School Mental Health Center at the following time points (T): 9 months (T1), 12 months (T2), and 15 months (T3) after the disaster. Additionally, we performed a follow-up review at 27 months (T4). Subjects completed the "˜State' section of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children, the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression assessment, the Child Report of Post-traumatic Symptoms, and the Inventory of Complicated Grief. Data from the 32 subjects who completed all four assessments were used in the statistical analyses.
RESULTS
Scores of psychological variables tended to increase until T2 and then slowly decreased until T4. The severity of anxiety and complicated grief symptoms changed significantly over time, but the severity of depression and posttraumatic stress symptoms did not.
CONCLUSION
We found that the symptoms of anxiety and complicated grief reported by Sewol ferry survivors from Danwon High School were exacerbated at the first anniversary of the disaster, but these symptoms subsided after the students graduated from high school.

Keyword

Danwon; Sewol ferry disaster; Anxiety; Complicated grief; Anniversary

MeSH Terms

Anniversaries and Special Events
Anxiety
Child
Depression
Disasters*
Follow-Up Studies*
Grief
Humans
Mental Health
Prospective Studies*
Retrospective Studies*
Survivors*
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