Although there is abundant evidence that mass traumas are associated with adverse mental health consequences, few studies have used nationally representative samples to examine the impact of war on civilians, and none have examined the impact of the Israel-Hezbollah War, which involved unprecedented levels of civilian trauma exposure from July 12 to August 14, 2006. The aims of this study were to document probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), determined by the PTSD Symptom Scale and self-reported functional impairment, in Jewish and Arab residents of Israel immediately after the Israel-Hezbollah War and to assess potential risk and resilience factors. A telephone survey was conducted August 15-October 5, 2006, following the cessation of rocket attacks. Stratified random sampling methods yielded a nationally representative population sample of 1200 adult Israeli residents. The rate of probable PTSD was 7.2%. Higher risk of probable PTSD was associated with being a woman, recent trauma exposure, economic loss, and higher psychosocial resource loss. Lower risk of probable PTSD was associated with higher education. The results suggest that economic and psychosocial resource loss, in addition to trauma exposure, have an impact on post-trauma functioning. Thus, interventions that bolster these resources might prove effective in alleviating civilian psychopathology during war.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported in part by an Ohio Board of Regents Research Challenge grant and a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (RO1-MH07687). The funding organizations did not play a role in the design and conduct of the study, collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data, or preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.
- Israel-Hezbollah War
- Mental health
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Resilience factors
- Risk factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- History and Philosophy of Science