Characteristics of participants in the Forum, psychotherapy clients, and control participants: a comparative study.
- Gidi Rubinstein
- Psychology and psychotherapy
A sample of 104 Israeli soldiers diagnosed as suffering from combat stress reactions (CSR) ('battle shock') during the 1982 Lebanon War were examined by mental health clinicians a year after the war. The clinicians assessed (a) post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as defined in the DSM-III (1980), (b) associated psychological symptoms (somatization, anxiety, and depression), and (c) disturbances in post-war functioning. The clinicians collected background information on sociodemographic characteristics, premilitary and military adjustment, combat experiences, and the extent of the CSR episode. The analysis indicated that PTSD could be predicted fairly well by the extent of the CSR episode and specific combat experiences, while the psychological symptoms were predicted mainly by combat experiences, and post-war functioning was predicted mainly by pre-war factors. The implication of combat experiences and soldiers' immediate reactions during combat in the genesis of subsequent PTSD is discussed. The multifaceted nature of war-related psychological sequelae is delineated.