Predictors of PTSD and Psychological Distress Symptoms of Ukraine Civilians During war

Yohanan Eshel, Shaul Kimhi, Hadas Marciano, Bruria Adini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: War may raise the level of distress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study explores the extent to which 4 factors determine levels of PTSD and distress symptoms of Ukraine civilians (without developing PTSD) during the current war. METHOD: The data were collected via a Ukrainian internet panel company. 1001 participants responded to a structured online questionnaire. Path analysis was conducted to identify predictive indicators of PTSD scores. RESULTS: PTSD symptoms positively correlated with respondents' level of exposure to the war and their sense of danger, and negatively correlated with well-being, family income, and age. Females scored higher on PTSD symptoms. Path analysis showed that higher exposure to war and higher sense of danger increase PTSD and distress symptoms, whereas higher well-being, higher individual resilience, and being a man, as well as older age decrease their level. Despite the strong effects of the coping suppressing factors, most respondents did not reach the critical level of PTSD or distress symptoms. CONCLUSION: At least 4 positive and negative factors account for people's coping with stressful experiences: previous traumatic experiences, individual level of pathology, personality attributes, and socio-demographic characteristics. The balance of these factors protects most people from PTSD symptoms despite their being affected by war traumas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e429
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
StatePublished - 12 Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • distress
  • PTSD symptoms
  • Ukraine
  • war

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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