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J Trauma Stress. 2005 Apr;18(2):147-54.

Correlation between traumatic events and posttraumatic stress disorder among North Korean defectors in South Korea.

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Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, CPO Box 8044, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


The number of North Korean defectors entering South Korea has been increasing rapidly since 1994. Two hundred North Korean defectors in South Korea were studied to identify their experiences of traumatic events in North Korea and during defection, and the correlation with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Researchers conducted face-to-face interviews and assisted defectors in performing a self-report assessment of this survey. The study questionnaire consisted of demographic characteristics, the Traumatic Experiences Scale for North Korean Defectors, and the PTSD part of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R Korean version. Prevalence rate of PTSD in defectors was 29.5%, with a higher rate for women. In factor analysis, the 25 items of traumatic events experienced in North Korea were divided into three factors: Physical Trauma, Political-Ideological Trauma, and Family-Related Trauma. In addition, the 19 items of traumatic events during defection were grouped into four factors: Physical Trauma, Detection and Capture-Related Trauma, Family-Related Trauma, and Betrayal-Related Trauma. In multifactorial logistic regression analysis, Family-Related Trauma in North Korea had a significant odds ratio.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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