Countless people around the world live with exposure to continuous traumatic stress (CTS) as a result of violent political conflict. Over the past 15 years, residents of southern Israel have been exposed to rocket fire from Gaza with varying intensity, and their mental health has been the subject of many studies. The purpose of this article was to systematically review the empirical literature on psychopathology in the southern Israel adult population exposed to CTS, focusing on their symptomatic picture, prevalence rates, and risk and protective factors. Twenty-eight quantitative articles were identified for review. The reviewed studies reported high levels of probable posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and other psychopathological reactions among the CTS population during low-intensity periods, which appear to rise sharply during escalations. This review identified high-risk groups based on community of residence, level of exposure, socioeconomic factors, and perceived social support. This review proposes that future studies use intensive, longitudinal methods to elucidate the effect of changing exposure intensity, and that interventions target the identified vulnerable groups, with a focus on intrapersonal, social, and community protective factors highlighted in the review.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Psychological Association.
- Ongoing exposure to trauma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Nursing
- Emergency Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health