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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2007 May;42(5):396-402. Epub 2007 Mar 23.

Recurrent trauma: Holocaust survivors cope with aging and cancer.

Author information

1
Tel-Hai Academic College, Tel-Hai (Upper Galilee), Israel. shirah@adm.telhai.ac.il

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The current study aims to determine whether elderly Holocaust survivors are affected differently from non-survivors by the adversity of aging and cancer.

METHOD:

Holocaust survivors and non-survivors suffering from cancer, were assessed tapping PTSD, psychiatric symptomatology, psychosocial adjustment to illness and coping with the aftermath of the Holocaust.

RESULTS:

Findings indicate a significant difference between survivors and non-survivors in post-traumatic symptoms and their intensity, survivors endorsing significantly more PTSD symptoms. Survivors were classified into 3 sub-groups, namely "Victims," "Fighters," and "Those who made it". "Victims" reported the highest percentage of persons who met PTSD, psychiatric symptomatology and difficulty coping with the problems of old age.

CONCLUSIONS:

The diversity of responses points to heterogeneity of long-term adaptation and adjustment among Holocaust survivors and similar response to subsequent adversity.

PMID:
17384892
DOI:
10.1007/s00127-007-0177-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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