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Predictors of symptoms of posttraumatic stress in Chinese university students during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic

Jiahong Xu, Yayuan Zheng, Mingmin Wang, Jiangmin Zhao, Qing Zhan, Mingxu Fu, Qianyi Wang, Junjie Xiao, Yan Cheng

Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(7): PH60-64

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.881836

Published: 2011-06-21


Background:    The university environment poses a high risk of spreading infectious diseases, particularly the 2009 pandemic influenza H1N1, as it is a mass gathering place for youth. This study aimed to evaluate the predictors of stress symptoms among Chinese university students during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.
    Material/Methods:    We used a self-reported questionnaire, the PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C) to evaluate the stress symptoms among Chinese university students from Heilongjiang (n=455), Beijing (n=106), Shanghai (n=419) and Sichuan (n=102). We then analyzed the predictors of stress symptoms.
    Results:    The proportion of university students enrolled in this study who met symptomatic criteria for PTSD was 2% (22 students). The mean PCL-C total score in the sample was 22.09±8.01. The correlational analyses revealed a significant positive relationship between the PCL-C total score and area, and university grade (P<0.01). Moreover, a negative relationship was found between the PCL-C total score and gender, having H1N1 influenza, having family members, friends or acquaintances having H1N1 influenza, and being afraid of H1N1 influenza (P<0.01). The regression analyses showed that in North China, female gender, having H1N1 influenza, having family members or acquaintances with H1N1 influenza, and being afraid of H1N1 influenza were significant predictors of the stress symptoms.
    Conclusions:    In North China, female gender, having H1N1 influenza, having family members, friends, or acquaintances with H1N1 influenza, and being afraid of H1N1 influenza were significant predictors of the stress symptoms.

Keywords: Sex Factors, Risk Factors, Regression Analysis, Questionnaires, Male, Influenza, Human - complications, Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype, Humans, Female, China - epidemiology, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic - etiology, young adult



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