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6th International Congress of the WIAMH

Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 13 – 15, 1999.

THE PREVALENCE AND CO MORBIDITY OF PTSD AND DEPRESSION IN WAR TRAUMATISED CHILDREN

Syed Arshad HUSAIN, M. ALWOOD, D. BELL.DOLLAN

University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65 212, USA

 

The literature has shown that children who live in war zones are at risk for PTSD and Depression. However these data have often been collected some years after the ending of military conflict or after the children have left their country. This study examines the prevalence and comorbidity of PTSD and Depression while children were still under siege in Sarajevo. In April of 1994 the author went to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and collected data on 791 children (ages 6-15) of one school district. The scales included Children Posttraumatic Stress Reaction Index, Impact of Event Scale and Children’s Behaviour Checklist – Teacher’s Form, Depression Inventory and the General Information Questionnaire. All scales were translated into Bosnian language and retranslated into English by an independent translator for accuracy. To meet the DSM IV criteria, the two scales were combined for analysis. Chi square analyses and Wilcoxin signed rank tests were used for analysis. Multivariate analysis of variance yielded significant findings for age difference for both PTS Reactions (p<0,0001) and depressive symptoms (p<001) with older children experiencing more symptoms. Chi square analyses revealed that clinical significant levels of PTS and depressive reaction were significantly related (p<0,001) of the 297 children with clinically significant PTS reactions. 18,2% also showed clinically significant depressive symptoms and of the 80 children with clinically significant depressive symptoms. 67,5% also had clinically significant PTS reaction (Superman Correlation of PTS and Depressive symptoms, p<0,0001). Conclusion: Exposure to war trauma were significant related to both PTS and Depressive Symptomathology. Older children were more likely to manifest both PTS and Depressive symptoms.

Key words: War trauma – PTSD – Depression – Prevalence

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