Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a Serbian Community: Seven Years After Trauma Exposure

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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may develop as a serious long-term consequence of traumatic experiences, even many years after trauma exposure. The objectives of this study were to examine the prevalence of lifetime and current PTSD as well as to detect the most stressful life events and sociodemographic risk factors of PTSD in a general adult Serbian population. The sample consisted of 640 subjects chosen by random walk technique in five regions of the country. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview 5 revealed an 18.8% prevalence rate of current PTSD and a 32.3% prevalence rate of lifetime PTSD. According to the Life Stressor Checklist–Revised, the bombardment, being expelled from home, siege, and participation in combat were the stressful events most likely to be associated with PTSD. The prevalence of PTSD increased among widows and widowers, divorced persons, unemployed persons, and retired persons. The high level of PTSD a few years after the trauma exposure classifies as a significant health problem that can cause serious consequences for families and the community as a whole.

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