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Psychiatr Danub. 2012 Sep;24(3):292-7.

Hopelessness, suicidality and religious coping in Croatian war veterans with PTSD.

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  • 1Psychiatry Department, General Hospital Virovitica, Virovitica, Croatia. saneanadj@gmail.com



Hopelessness is a strong predictor of suicide which is closely associated with PTSD in war veterans. Previous studies showed that if religious faith in war veterans was weakened it contributed to more extensive current use of mental health services. War trauma experience can weaken religious faith as well as strengthen it. It partly depends on religious coping which can be positive or negative.


In our work we present correlation between hopelessness (measured with Beck Hopelessness Scale) and style of religious coping (positive or negative, measured with R-COPE) in 111 Croatian war veterans with PTSD and 39 healthy volunteers.


Veterans with PTSD were more hopeless than healthy volunteers, and had greater usage of negative religious coping. In PTSD group, less hopeless veterans showed greater extent in use of positive religious coping strategies.


These findings suggest that experts treating male combat veterans with PTSD should inquire about religious coping of the individual. Positive religious coping should be encouraged while negative religious coping should be addressed appropriately.

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