- Complex Sequelae of Psychological Trauma Among Kosovar Civilian War Victims
- International Journal of Social Psychiatry
- Volume | Issue number
- 54 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
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.
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