Posttraumatic Residues of Captivity: A Follow-Up of Israeli Ex_Prisoners of War

Article Abstract

Background: This article examines the long-term
impact of wartime captivity.

Method: One hundred sixty-four prisoners of war
(POWs) and 189 matched combatants of the 1973 Yom Kippur War
filled out a series of questionnaires that assessed posttraumatic
stress disorder (PTSD), general psychiatric symptomatology, and
social functioning according to DSM-III-R criteria.

Results: Almost 2 decades after the war, ex-POWs
exhibited higher rates and greater intensity of posttraumatic
stress reactions, more general psychiatric symptomatology, and
more severe problems in functioning at home, at work, and in the
military than did the control group (Israeli veterans who were
not POWs). They were also more likely to obtain official
disability recognition and to seek psychological help. Their
recovery was slower and professional help less effective. In
addition, the veterans with PTSD in both groups had high rates of
comorbid general psychiatric symptomatology.

Conclusion: These findings point to the depth,
range, and persistence of the stress residuals of wartime
captivity.

Volume: 61

Quick Links: PTSD , Trauma

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