Prevalence of PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety Among Orphaned Children in the Gaza Strip

Abdel Aziz Mousa Thabet, Mohammed W Elhelou and Panos Vostanis - EC Paediatrics


This study aimed to find the prevalence rate of PTSD, anxiety and depression among orphaned children in Gaza Strip. The study sample consisted of 81 orphaned children from Al-Amal Institute for Orphans. We used descriptive, analytical, and for data collection we used sociodemographic sheet; Revised Child Post Traumatic Disorder Index, The Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale, and Birleson Depression Self-Rating Scale for Children (BDSRS).

The minimum age was 9 years and the maximum age was 18 years, Mean = 13.34 years. The mean post-traumatic stress disorder was 35.79, intrusion symptoms was 19.77, avoidance symptoms was 14.30 and mean arousal symptoms was 13.65, 55.6% of orphaned children showed moderate and 34.6% showed severe PTSD. Girls reported significantly more PTSD, avoidance, and arousal symptoms than boys. A child living in a city had more PTSD than those children live in a camp or a village. The study showed that 67.9% showed depression. Depression was more in children from north Gaza had more depression than those coming from the other four areas of the Gaza Strip. The results showed that 30.9% of children rated as anxiety cases. Children 13 - 15 years old had more anxiety than those younger and older age than them and children coming from north Gaza had more anxiety than those coming from the other four areas of the Gaza Strip. The result showed that there was positive correlation with statistical significance between depression and anxiety, intrusion, and avoidance. While total depression was negatively correlated with arousal symptoms of PTSD. Anxiety was negatively correlated with PTSD and avoidance symptoms of PTSD.

Clinical Implications: The study concluded that orphaned children have a considerable level of PTSD, anxiety and depression, which raised the need for more attention from governmental and Non-governmental institutions towards finding therapeutic programs for the orphans to enable them to live and be functional and productive in the future.