Exposure to war traumatic experiences, post-traumatic stress disorder and post-traumatic growth among nurses in Gaza

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Accessible summary

What is known on the subject?

Accessible summary

What this paper adds to existing knowledge?

Accessible summary

What are the implications for practice?


To establish the association between war traumatic experiences, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and post-traumatic growth among nurses in the Gaza Strip, 2 years after an incursion on Gaza, and during a period of ongoing trauma exposure. This study builds on existing evidence by considering exposure to personal and work-related traumatic events, and on factors associated with later positive psychological adaptation.


The sample consisted of 274 randomly selected nurses in Gaza who completed the Gaza Traumatic Events Checklist, PTSD Checklist, and Posttraumatic Growth Inventory.


Of the nurses, 19.7% reported full PTSD. There was a significant relationship between traumatic events and PTSD scores; as well as between community-related traumatic events and post-traumatic growth. Participants reported a range of traumatic events, but PTSD and post-traumatic growth scores were more strongly associated with community rather than work-related traumas.


Nursing professionals experienced high levels of distress 2 years following an acute period of conflict, both as civilians and in their health-care capacity.

Implications for Practice:

There is need for different levels of support for health-care staff in war-affected areas. Mental health nursing professionals have a central role in training, counselling and support to other health-care colleagues.

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