'I cannot see ahead': psychological distress, doomscrolling and dark future among adult survivors following M<sub>w</sub> 7.7. and 7.6 earthquakes in Türkiye

Kartol A., ÜZTEMUR S., Yasar P.

BMC PUBLIC HEALTH, vol.23, no.1, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12889-023-17460-3
  • Journal Name: BMC PUBLIC HEALTH
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Background The earthquakes, which occurred on 6 February 2023, affecting a total of eleven provinces in Turkiye, with magnitudes of 7.7 and 7.6, and killing around 50,000 people, caused the greatest loss of life compared to previous earthquakes in Turkiye. In this study, we analyse the psychological status of the adult individuals who experienced the earthquakes three months after the earthquakes in terms of different variables.Methods In this research, an analytical cross-sectional study was conducted by applying face-to-face and online questionnaires to 402 adult individuals who had experienced the earthquake. The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21), the Dark Future Scale and Doomscrolling Scale were applied. The relationships between variables are discussed in this study using the predictive correlational model.Results The results revealed that the participants had very high levels of future anxiety and moderate levels of doomscrolling after the earthquake. Although their psychological distress levels were relatively low, as the psychological distress levels of adult individuals who experienced the earthquake increased, their doomscrolling also increased. In addition, as individuals' future anxiety increases, their doomscrolling increases similarly. The mediation analysis reveals that the mediating role of future anxiety between psychological distress and doomscrolling is significant (p < .001).Conclusion Individuals are more exposed to negative news streams in negative life events that occur beyond their control and they need to search for information. Increased levels of depression, anxiety and stress lead to more exposure to this flow. In addition, future anxiety is also an important trigger of this behaviour. The effects of psychological distress on individuals who survived the earthquake are discussed in the context of the literature.