Rate of psychiatric disorders and associations with quality of life among community members following the Kaohsiung gas explosion: an 18-month cross-sectional follow-up study.


Department of Nursing, Kaohsiung Municipal Kai-Syuan Psychiatric Hospital, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : To conduct a follow-up on the rate and related risk factors of probable disaster-related psychiatric disorders such as depressive disorder (major depressive episode, MDE), stress disorders, post-traumatic (posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD), and the quality of life of the survivors of a fossil gas explosion in Taiwan 18 months after the event.
METHODS : A community-based survey of residents of a community that experienced a petrochemical gas explosion with cross-sectional assessments was conducted 18 months after the event. Two screening tools, including the Disaster-Related Psychological Screening Test (DRPST) and Short Form 12v2 (SF-12v2), were used to survey a representative sample of 388 participants.
RESULTS : The average age of 388 participants is 43.27 ± 15.98 years (males: 203, average age: 41.44 ± 15.74 years; females: 185; average age: 45.27 ± 16.03 years). Probable PTSD, probable MDE, probable PTSD and MDE, and non-PTSD or non-MDE (non-P or -M) were present in 34 (8.8%), 14 (3.6%), 9 (2.3%), and 331 (85.3%) participants, respectively. The significant associated factor for probable PTSD or MDE among those who experienced disaster was financial problems. The associated factors on different quality of life subscales were old age, physical injury, employment, educational level, financial problems, probable PTSD and probable MDE.
CONCLUSIONS : While participants' psychiatric status improved after 18 months, their quality of life continued to be affected, especially the quality of life of those with probable PTSD combined with MDE. Postdisaster treatment and follow-up should be addressed to a greater degree, especially for victims with mental illness, physical injuries and financial problems.


Depressive disorder,Post-traumatic,Quality of life,Stress disorders,