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Stress Health. 2012 Oct;28(4):289-96. doi: 10.1002/smi.1429. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

Traumatic grief and traumatic stress in survivors 12 years after the genocide in Rwanda.

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Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches en Psychopathologie, Université de Toulouse, Toulouse, France.


The relationship between exposure to traumatic events and traumatic grief and the role of mediating and moderating variables [peritraumatic distress, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and symptoms of depression] were studied in survivors of the genocide of Batutsi in Rwanda in 1994. One hundred and two survivors (70 women, mean age 45 ± 7.53 years) participated in this retrospective study. All of them had lost a member of their family. The severity of traumatic exposure (Comprehensive Trauma Inventory), peritraumatic distress (Peritraumatic Distress Inventory), current PTSD symptoms (PTSD Checklist), depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory) and traumatic grief symptoms (Inventory of Traumatic Grief) was evaluated. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was then conducted to examine the relative contribution of each variable to the symptoms of traumatic grief. The severity of traumatic exposure was related to traumatic grief symptoms (B=0.06, R=0.6, R(2) =0.36 and ß=0.6, t=7.54, p=0.00). The Baron and Kenny procedure (1986) (including three separate regressions), along with the Sobel test, was used to test mediation effects. Peritraumatic distress and PTSD symptoms may be mediating variables between traumatic exposure and traumatic grief. Traumatic grief is a complex but assessable entity, where previous distress and suffering result from both psychological trauma and the loss of a loved one.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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