- Somatic distress among Kosovar civilian war survivors:relationship to trauma exposure and the mediating role of experiential avoidance
- Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
- Volume | Issue number
- 45 | 12
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Purpose: The current study examined the prevalence and correlates of somatic distress (SD) in the aftermath of war, and the role of a process hypothesized to contribute to posttraumatic stress: experiential avoidance.
Methods: Civilian war survivors (n = 163) from Kosovo were assessed in structured interviews, reporting on average more than ten types of traumatic war exposure.
Results: One in eight (12.9%) of the participants meet criteria for SD, which was associated with greater psychological distress, experiential avoidance, and lower quality of life after accounting for the effects of war-related variables, demographic variables, as well as posttraumatic stress disorder and major depressive episode. Experiential avoidance partially mediated the association between SD and psychological distress and quality of life.
Conclusions: The results indicate that SD is prevalent among war-exposed civilians and that experiential avoidance may be a significant factor in understanding and treating traumatized people who are experiencing SD.
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