TOHOKU JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE, vol.208, no.1, pp.19-24, 2006 (SCI-Expanded)
This study aims to investigate the psychological effects of the earthquake. We investigated the psychological conditions of 3,609 students survived from the Marmara Earthquake, which occurred on 17 August 1999. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was employed to assess the levels of depression and other psycho-pathological states. The BDI was classified as mild depression if the score was :<= 13, moderate depression (14-24) and serious depression (>= 25). Depression level was estimated as mild in 71.5% of the students, and serious depression in 9.6% of the students. The prevalence of suicidal tendency/thought was 16.7% in this study. The prospect of suicidal thought was 1.76-time (95% Confidence interval [Cl]: 1.40-2.22) higher in the students who were injured or whose relatives were injured seriously enough to require medical treatment. Suicidal thought was higher by 1.57 times (95% CI: 1.28-1.92) in students who lost their relatives and by 1.35 times (95% CI: 1.13-1.63) in those who saw extensive damage or destruction occurred in their home or property. According to logistic regression analyses, the gender influenced the thought of suicide; suicide thought was 0.71 (95% CI: 0.60-0.85) time lower in females than males. The present study indicates that injury to the self or to the loved ones, damage to home or property, or the loss of family members as a result of the earthquake enhances the suicidal tendencies.