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Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2008 Sep;54(5):425-36. doi: 10.1177/0020764008090505.

Complex sequelae of psychological trauma among Kosovar civilian war victims.

Author information

1
University of Frankfurt, Department of Psychology, Varrentrappstr. 40-42, D-60486 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. morina@psych.uni-frankfurt.de

Abstract

AIMS:

The impact of war trauma on civilians may include, but also extend beyond, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to include complex sequelae such as those described by the syndrome of Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified (DESNOS).

METHODS:

In the present study, 102 civilian war victims were interviewed in Kosovo, assessing traumatic life events, PTSD, DESNOS, and depression.

RESULTS:

Full DESNOS rarely occurred (2% prevalence), however, clinically significant DESNOS symptoms of somatization, altered relationships, and altered systems of meaning were reported by between 24-42% of respondents. Although DESNOS symptoms were correlated with PTSD symptoms, DESNOS symptoms were associated with poorer overall psychological functioning, self-evaluations, satisfaction with life, and social support independent of the effects of PTSD.

CONCLUSION:

The findings suggest that DESNOS warrants attention in addition to PTSD in the assessment and treatment of civilians who have been exposed to war and genocide.

PMID:
18786904
DOI:
10.1177/0020764008090505
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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