Rate and correlates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the Beirut blast and the economic crisis among Lebanese University students: a cross-sectional study
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AbstractBackground: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness that develops in some people after they have experienced a stunning, scary, or dangerous incident. Due to major disasters like as the Economic Crisis and the Beirut Blast, Lebanese people are struggling with a variety of mental health issues. The study objectives were to find the rate of PTSD and its association with stress, anxiety, depression, financial well-being and coping strategies among university students in Lebanon. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study, conducted between May and August 2021, which enrolled 419 university students from all districts of Lebanon. The PTSD Checklist-Specific Version (PCL-S) was used to evaluate manifestation of PSTD. Results: The results showed that 132 (31.5%), 109 (26.0%) and 169 (40.3%) had PTSD from COVID, Beirut blast and economic crisis respectively. More avoidant coping (Beta = 0.52) and more anxiety (Beta = 0.62) were significantly associated with more PTSD from the Beirut Blast. More avoidant coping (Beta = 0.56), depression (Beta = 0.40) and anxiety (Beta = 0.49) were significantly associated with more PTSD from the economic crisis, whereas more financial wellbeing (Beta = - 0.31) was significantly associated with less PTSD from the economic crisis. Conclusion: Significant rates of PTSD were found in our sample of Lebanese university students, whether from the Beirut blast, or from the current economic crisis. Significant correlations of these PTSD rates were found with factors such as avoidant coping, depression, anxiety and financial wellbeing. Such findings must raise the attention to serious mental and psychosocial alteration endured by Lebanese youth that are still under fatal cumulative traumatic events, that were and even may be, intergenerationally and unintentionally transmissible, therefore, affecting not only the present, but also the future of a whole nation.
Journal titlePlos One