Posttraumatic distress and coping strategies among rescue workers after an earthquake

Chia Ming Chang, Li Ching Lee, Kathryn M. Connor, Jonathan R.T. Davidson, Keith Jeffries, Te Jen Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Disaster workers are at high risk for developing psychiatric morbidity. This study examined the prevalence rates of psychiatric and posttraumatic distress and the relationship between psychiatric and posttraumatic morbidity and coping strategies among rescue workers following an earthquake in Taiwan on September 21, 1999. Eighty-four male firefighters who had been exposed to earthquake rescue work were assessed 5 months after the event. The Chinese Health Questionnaire (CHQ), the Impact of Event Scale (IES), and the Ways of Coping Questionnaire (WCQ) were used to assess psychiatric morbidity, posttraumatic morbidity, and coping strategies. The observed prevalence rates were 16.7% and 21.4% for general psychiatric morbidity and posttraumatic morbidity, respectively. Results from multivariate logistic regression indicated that job experience and confrontive coping were significant predictors of psychiatric morbidity, while job experience, distancing, escape-avoidance, and positive reappraisal were significant predictors of posttraumatic morbidity. Rescue workers with longer job experience were at the highest risk for developing psychiatric and posttraumatic distress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-398
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Posttraumatic distress and coping strategies among rescue workers after an earthquake'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this