Psychiatric symptoms and psychosocial functioning among hospital personnel during the Gaza War: A repeated cross-sectional study

Menachem Ben-Ezra, Yuval Palgi, Jonathan Jacob Wolf, Amit Shrira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Studies of mental health among hospital personnel during armed conflict are scarce and usually include single time point investigations without a comparison group. The authors compared the psychiatric symptoms and psychosocial functioning of exposed and unexposed hospital personnel at two time points. The research was conducted during 2009 and included a survey of two random samples of hospital personnel (physicians and nurses), one collected during the Gaza War and the other 6. months later. Each sample included hospital personnel who were exposed to war-related stress and others who were not (Study 1: n= 67 and 74 for exposed and unexposed, respectively; Study 2: n= 57 and 50 for exposed and unexposed, respectively). Levels of psychiatric symptoms and psychosocial functioning were measured. Compared to unexposed hospital personnel, exposed hospital personnel had a significantly higher level of post-traumatic symptoms during the Gaza War and 6. months later. In addition, during the Gaza War, exposed hospital personnel had a significantly higher level of depressive symptoms. However, in the second study, depressive symptoms were similar to those found in the unexposed group. These findings may suggest that war-related stress is associated with post-traumatic symptoms among hospital personnel even 6. months after exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-395
Number of pages4
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume189
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 30 Oct 2011

Keywords

  • Hospital personnel
  • Psychiatric symptoms
  • Psychosocial functioning
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • War

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