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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163


BEN-EZRA, Menachem; PALGI, Yuval  and  SHIRA, Amit. Late effect of the Second Lebanon War: Level of exposure and rates of comorbidity of posttraumatic stress symptoms and depresisve symptoms among Israelis from Northern and Center Israel. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2010, vol.24, n.3, pp.158-166. ISSN 0213-6163.

Background and Objectives: The objective of the present study was to examine comorbidity of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and depressive symptoms in the aftermath of war related stress among two groups differentiated by their level of exposure to the war. Methods: 336 Israeli citizens were assessed using a convenience sample creating two groups from Northern and Central Israel. The former were exposed to missile attacks while the latter were indirectly exposed to war-related stress. The participants provided demographical information and filled a battery of questionnaire that assessed their physical health, mental health, and subjective well-being. Results: The Northern group exhibited higher level of comorbidity, depressive symptoms and past satisfaction. Moreover, higher levels of depressive symptoms, psychosomatic symptoms and lower satisfaction with life in the past were associated with higher levels of PTSD symptoms. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the long-term effect of war is more salient when examining comorbidity of PTSD and depressive symptoms rather than when examining PTSD or depressive symptoms alone. In line with the dose-response model, it can be assumed that higher exposure to war related stress is related to higher levels of exposure that may lead to a long lasting vulnerability as it appears in a combination of PTSD symptoms and depressive symptoms two years later.

Keywords : Trauma; PTSD; Depression; Symptoms; Comorbidity; Well-being; War.

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