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Long-term psychological distress of Bosnian war survivors : an 11-year follow-up of former displaced persons, returnees, and stayers


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Comteße, Hannah ; Powell, Steve ; Soldo, Andrea ; Hagl, Maria ; Rosner, Rita:
Long-term psychological distress of Bosnian war survivors : an 11-year follow-up of former displaced persons, returnees, and stayers.
In: BMC Psychiatry. 19 (2019): 1. - 10 S.
ISSN 1471-244x


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Research on the long-term mental health consequences of war and displacement among civilians who live in post-conflict countries is rare. The aim of this study was to examine the developmental trajectories and predictors of general psychological distress in three samples of Bosnian war survivors over an 11-year period.
In 1998/99, about three years after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a representative sample of 299 adult Sarajevo citizens was examined in three subsamples: individuals who had stayed in Sarajevo throughout the siege, individuals who had been internally displaced, and refugees who had returned. Of the 138 study participants who could be located 11 years later, 100 were re-assessed (71%) using the Brief Symptom Inventory.
Over time, psychological symptoms and general psychological distress decreased in those survivors who had stayed and increased in returnees. Former displaced persons did not show any significant changes. After controlling for other factors, cumulative trauma exposure before and during the war predicted general psychological distress at baseline. Eleven years later, higher trauma exposure during and after the war, returnee status, and more current stressors were all associated with higher levels of general psychological distress.
Levels of psychological symptoms remained high in three subsamples of Bosnian war survivors. The differential symptom trajectories may correspond to distinct war experiences and contemporary stressors. Still, the cumulative effect of war traumata on mental distress persisted more than a decade after war and displacement, although the influence of current stressors seemed to increase over time.

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Sprache des Eintrags:Englisch
Institutionen der Universität:Philosophisch-Pädagogische Fakultät > Psychologie > Lehrstuhl für Klinische und Biologische Psychologie
DOI / URN / ID:10.1186/s12888-018-1996-0
Open Access: Freie Zugänglichkeit des Volltexts?:Ja (Förderung durch DFG-Mittel)
Verlag:BioMed Central
Die Zeitschrift ist nachgewiesen in:
Titel an der KU entstanden:Ja
Eingestellt am: 29. Jan 2019 17:09
Letzte Änderung: 04. Aug 2022 12:03
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