Consequences of Untreated Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Following War in Former Yugoslavia: Morbidity, Subjective Quality of Life, and Care Costs

Priebe, Stefan; Matanov, Aleksandra; Gavrilovi0107;, Jelena Janković; McCrone, Paul; Ljubotina, Damir; Knežević, Goran; Kuèukalić, Abdulah; Franèišković, Tanja; Schützwohl, Matthias
October 2009
Croatian Medical Journal;Oct2009, Vol. 50 Issue 5, p465
Academic Journal
Aim To assess long-term mental health outcomes in people who suffer from war-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but do not receive appropriate treatment. Methods We interviewed 264 subjects from former Yugoslavia, who lived in Croatia, Serbia, Germany, and the United Kingdom. All of them had suffered from PTSD at some point following the war, but never received psychiatric or psychological treatment. The interviews took place on average 10.7 ± 3.0 years after the war-related trauma. Outcomes were current PTSD on the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV, subjective quality of life (SQOL) on the Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life, and care costs. Socio-demographic characteristics, the level of traumatic war-events, and aspects of the post-war situation were tested for association with outcomes. Results Current PTSD was diagnosed in 83.7% of participants, the mean SQOL score was 4.0 ± 0.9, and mean care costs in the last 3 months exceeded €1100 in each center. Older age, more traumatic war-events, lower education, and living in post-conflict countries were associated with higher rates of current PTSD. Older age, combat experience, more traumatic war-events, being unemployed, living alone, being housed in collective accommodation, and current PTSD were independently associated with lower SQOL. Older age and living in Germany were linked to higher costs of formal care. Conclusion People with untreated war-related PTSD have a high risk of still having PTSD a decade after the traumatic event. Their SQOL is relatively low, and they generate considerable care costs. Factors that have been reported as influencing the occurrence of PTSD also appear relevant for recovery from PTSD. Current PTSD may impair SQOL independently of social factors.


Related Articles

  • Feasibility and efficacy of a peer-led recovery group program for war-related trauma in Libya. Stanford, Matthew S; Elverson, Timothy M; Padilla, Jose I; Rogers, Edward B // South African Journal of Psychology;Mar2014, Vol. 44 Issue 1, p97 

    After 42 years under the brutal rule of Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi, the people of Libya rose up on 17 February 2011 and demanded change. The 9-month civil war that followed resulted in the deaths of approximately 15,000 Libyans. This study reports on the feasibility and efficacy of a 10-week...

  • Drowning the demons of war. Danitz, Tiffany // Insight on the News;03/03/97, Vol. 13 Issue 8, p14 

    Focuses on the finding regarding the correlation of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse among veterans in the United States. Number of Americans who suffered war-related psychological disorders; Important aspects of a 1988 paper by Terry Keane of the National Center for...

  • Passing a Torch from Vietnam to Iraq. Widner, Greg; Klemisch, Rob; Collins, Gary; Haug, Rodney; Price, Rumi Kato // Officer;Jul/Aug2007, Vol. 83 Issue 6, p30 

    The article reports on the Vietnam Era study by the generations of research teams at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Missouri. During the study, researchers have found out that most of the soldiers have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This disorder was found to be...

  • Lifetime and 12-Month Prevalence of Psychiatric Disorders in 8,169 Male Vietnam War Era Veterans. Eisen, Seth A.; Griffith, Kristin H.; Xian, Hong; Scherrer, Jeffrey F.; Fischer, Irene D.; Chantarujikapong, Sunanta; Hunter, Joyce; True, William R.; Lyons, Michael J.; Tsuang, Ming T. // Military Medicine;Nov2004, Vol. 169 Issue 11, p896 

    Objective: This study reports the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among a nationally distributed sample of Vietnam Era veterans assessed using standardized psychiatric interviewing methods. Methods: In 1992, the National Institute of Mental Health Diagnostic Interview Schedule was...

  • Posttraumatic stress disorder in combat veterans. Lawson, Nicole R. // JAAPA: Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (;May2014, Vol. 27 Issue 5, p18 

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects up to 18% of combat veterans, many of whom will seek care from clinicians outside the military healthcare system. This article reviews the epidemiology, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and referral options for PTSD so that PAs in primary...

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Psychological Well-being among University of Maiduguri Students. Onyencho, V. C.; Omeiza, B.; Wakil // IFE PsychologIA;2014, Vol. 22 Issue 1, p195 

    Boko Haram insurgents in north east Nigeria made many people seek psychiatric treatment because of psychological complications including PTSD. This cross-sectional study used a judgemental (non-probability) sampling technique, to examine post-traumatic stress disorder and psychological wellbeing...

  • Characteristics and needs of asylum seekers and refugees in contact with London community mental health teams: a descriptive investigation. McColl, Helen; Johnson, Sonia // Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology;Oct2006, Vol. 41 Issue 10, p789 

    Background: Asylum seekers and refugees may have substantial needs for mental health care, to which both pre-migration and post-migration traumas are likely to contribute. However, there is a paucity of data available to guide appropriate service development.Aims: To...

  • Psychological distress among displaced persons during an armed conflict in Nepal. Thapa, Suraj Bahadur; Hauff, Edvard // Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology;Aug2005, Vol. 40 Issue 8, p672 

    Objective: Most internally displaced persons (IDPs) live in low-income countries experiencing a war; their psychosocial health has not been well addressed. We carried out a comprehensive assessment of traumatic experiences, distress symptomatology, and factors independently...

  • War and the Mind: Psychopathology or Suffering? Wessely, Simon // Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture;2003, Vol. 10 Issue 4, p6 

    Focuses on war as a cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Complexity in determining the boundaries between abnormal and normal; Psychological effects of war and conflicts; Medical origins of PTSD and psychological intervention.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics