Trauma-related symptoms in Sri Lankan adult survivors after the Tsunami: Pretraumatic and peritraumatic factors

Charini Gunaratne, Peter J. Kremer, Valerie Clarke, Andrew J. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Limited research has addressed factors associated with psychological distress following disasters among non-Western populations. The 2004 tsunami affected 1.7 million people across South Asia and Africa, with considerable variations in trauma-related outcomes. Pretraumatic and peritraumatic conditions associated with trauma-related symptoms in 305 Sri Lankan adult survivors (28% male, aged 18-83 years; mean = 39.9 years; standard deviation = 15.3), clinically assessed 1 month post tsunami, were evaluated retrospectively. Outcome measures were total scores on 11 trauma-related symptoms. Multivariate linear regression analyses tested for associations between pretraumatic and peritraumatic conditions and symptom scores, with peritraumatic conditions adjusted for pretraumatic variables. Pretraumatic conditions of female gender, employment, prior health and social issues, and substance use and peritraumatic conditions of loss of family, witnessing the tsunami, or suffering an injury were associated with trauma-related symptoms. The findings facilitate understanding cultural contexts that define risk factors associated with trauma-related symptoms in SriLankans, which are critical for developing culturally appropriate interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-434
Number of pages10
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


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