Vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder and psychological morbidity in aged holocaust survivors

Brodaty, Henry, Joffe, Charmaine, Luscombe, Georgina, and Thompson, Claire (2004) Vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder and psychological morbidity in aged holocaust survivors. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 19 (10). pp. 968-979.

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Objective: Although high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psychological morbidity have been consistently reported in Holocaust survivors (HS), reports are inconsistent about which factors are associated with psychological morbidity. In a study of the oldest HS cohort yet reported, we aim to clarify why this variability exists by examining factors associated with PTSD and psychological morbidity, including for the first time measures of personality and defense mechanisms.

Methods: One hundred HS randomly selected from a convenience sample of 309 respondents to a survey of Jewish persons aged 60 years and older living in the community in Sydney were assessed using the following instruments: demographics, severity of trauma experienced, General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28), PTSD diagnosis (DSM-IV), Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, Impact of Events Scale, Defense Style Questionnaire, modified Eysenck Personality Inventory.

Results: Older age, experience of more severe trauma, use of immature defense mechanisms and higher neuroticism were associated with significant PTSD and psychological morbidity; severity of trauma was associated with PTSD and with more severe psychological morbidity.

Conclusions: A profile of survivors at-risk can be identified that may have application to survivors of more recent holocausts. Late life may be a period of vulnerability in the aftermath of severe trauma.

Item ID: 29121
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1099-1166
Keywords: holocaust survivors, PTSD, defense style
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2013 01:16
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920502 Health Related to Ageing @ 100%
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