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Torture. 2008;18(1):29-37.

Prevalence of PTSD and related factors in communities living in conflictual area: Diyarbakir case.

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Department of Psychiatry, Dicle University Faculty of Medicine, Diyarbakir, Turkey.



In this study, we aimed to investigate the distribution of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among adults who were living in the Diyarbakir city center.


Data was obtained from 708 participants that represented the demographic structure of Diyarbakir. Houses to be visited were determined in collaboration with the Turkish Institute of Statistics.


The prevalence of traumatic life experience was 47.9%. Most prevalent traumatic life experiences were forced emigration and witnessing of a case of murder or injury. The lifelong and current PTSD prevalence was 34.9% and 15.1% respectively. We concluded that the prevalence of traumatic experiences and subsequent PTSD was high among people who were living in areas of conflict, and treatment opportunities were inadequate.


An important finding of this study is the association between the range of prevalence rates of traumatic experiences and risk factors for PTSD in an armed conflict region in Turkey. There is a need for studies that will also include people living in rural areas in order to understand the full picture of problems encountered by those in areas of conflict. Moreover, we believe in the importance of an effective approach of institutional and occupational organizations not to leave these people alone with their traumatic experiences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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