6th International Congress of the WIAMH
Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 13-15, 1999.
HIDDEN PTSD AT WAR VETERANS WITH AMPUTATED EXTREMITIES
Suada KAPIDŽIĆ, Slobodan PAVLOVIĆ, Osman SINANOVIĆ
The Clinic for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,
The past aggression over Bosnia and Herzegovina has resulted in great destruction within various fields of everyday life of all categories of the population. An extremely difficult time faced those who defended the country, who experienced large personal losses, physical and psychical trauma. This paper analyses a group of thirty war veterans with amputated extremities who were disposed to both physical and psychical trauma and had not had clearly exposed symptoms of the PTSD and they never came for psychological assistance – group A. Another group is a group of 51 war veterans who had not had a physical handicap, but had come for psychological assistance due to psychical problems – group B. Both groups were similar according to the age background and profession, but they differ in the field of marital status. The group A featured more single men, while group B had more married ones. The analysis used the Questionnaire of Trauma, Plučik’s Index of Emotions, Questionnaire of Defensive Mechanisms and Stile of Living, and MMPI. Within the group A, we determined an average of six traumatic experiences and relatively low level of stress. The group B showed seven traumatic experiences and a very high level of stress at 50% of the participants. Both groups had a large percentage of complete or partial posttraumatic stress disorder – group A with 73% and group B with 88%. The results of the applied psychometric research could not explain the hidden PTSD in the group A. The group A had shown emphasised denial and not accepting of evidential physical handicap. Namely, 40% of the participants in this group thought that they were able to conduct the same tasks as they had done before, which was significantly different to the opinion of the Expertise Committee that has evaluated such case of ability at only 13% of the participants.
Key words: War Trauma – Amputation - PTSD
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