Psychiatric morbidity and pregnancy outcome in a disaster area of Taiwan 921 earthquake

Hseuh Ling Chang*, Ting Chang Chang, Tzou Yien Lin, Shian Shu Kuo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

82 Scopus citations


We investigated the prevalence of minor psychiatric morbidity in a group of women who were pregnant during or immediately after a major earthquake disaster and we investigated the prognostic factors that may have influenced the perinatal outcome of the pregnancy. The study was initiated 6 months after the earthquake and enrolled 171 women in a town near the epicentre. A Post-Earthquake Questionnaire, Chinese Health Questionnaire (CHQ-12) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms checklist were completed before delivery while the perinatal data were retrieved from hospital obstetrical records. The prevalence of minor psychiatric morbidity (MPM) was 29.2%. Women with starvation experience, higher negative attitude scores about the influence of earthquake on pregnancy and more casualties among relatives were significantly correlated with high CHQ. A significant positive correlation between the MPM and PTSD scores was noticed. Among the 115 pregnancies with known perinatal outcome, there were nine (7.8%) low-birth weight neonates, defined as birth weight ≤2500 g. Maternal history of abdominal injury, spouse casualty and instability in living condition were significantly correlated with low birth weight. Spouse casualty was the only significant factor that predicts neonatal low birth weight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Chinese Health Questionnaire
  • Low birth weight
  • Posttraumatic stres disorder


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