Intercultural Differences in the Development of Pediatric Medical Traumatic Stress (PMTS) in Children Following Surgical Hospitalization

Bushra Masalha, Shiri Ben-David, Fortu Benarroch, Amichai Ben-Ari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Illness, surgery and surgical hospitalization are significant stressors for children. Some children who experience such a medical event may develop Pediatric Medical Traumatic Stress (PMTS). PMTS affects physical recovery, and many areas and functions in children’s lives, both short-and long-term. The aim of the study is to examine the difference in the rate of PMTS between the Arab and Jewish populations and the difference in risk factors for the development of this syndrome. Method: The study involved 252 parents of children aged 1–6 who were hospitalized in the surgical ward of Hadassah Medical Center. During hospitalization, parents completed questionnaires to identify risk factors for the development of PMTS. At 3 months from the time of discharge, the children’s level of PMTS was measured. Results: The rate of children diagnosed with PMTS among Arab children was significantly higher than the rate in the Jewish population. The affiliation to an ethnic group affected different socioeconomic, demographic, social, linguistic and cultural background variables, which in turn affected the emergence of PMTS. Conclusion: The study emphasizes the nature of PMTS at the intercultural level, which can be an important source for theoretically understanding both the disorder and culture, as well as for clinical implications in developing population-sensitive treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number526
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • children after hospitalization
  • cultural differences
  • pediatric medical traumatic stress
  • post-traumatic stress disorder


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