War-related psychological sequelae among emergency department patients in the former Republic of Yugoslavia

Brett D. Nelson, William G. Fernandez, Sandro Galea, Sarah Sisco, Kerry Dierberg, Gordana Subaric Gorgieva, Arijit K. Nandi, Jennifer Ahern, Mihajlo Mitrović, Michael VanRooyen, David Vlahov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Background: Residents of the Republic of Serbia faced civil war and a NATO-led bombing campaign in 1999. We sought to assess the burden of metal health dysfunction among emergency department (ED) patients presenting for care three years post-war in Serbia. Methods: This study was conducted during July and August 2002 at two sites: a university hospital ED in Belgrade, Serbia and an ED in a remote district hospital serving a Serbian enclave in Laplje Selo, Kosovo. Investigators collected data on a systematic sample of non-acute patients presenting to the ED. All respondents completed a structured questionnaire assessing demographics and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (using the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire), and major depression (using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale). Results: A total of 562 respondents participated (310 in Belgrade, 252 in Laplje Selo); the response rate was 83.8%, 43% were female, and mean age was 37.6 years (SD = 13.4). Overall, 73 (13.0%) participants had symptoms consistent with PTSD, and 272 (49.2%) had symptoms consistent with depression. Sixty-six respondents had both disorders (11.9%). In separate multivariable logistic regression models, predictors of PTSD were refugee status and residence in Laplje Selo, and predictors of depression were older age, current unemployment, and lower social support. Conclusions: Three years post-war, symptoms of PTSD and major depression in Serbia remained a significant public health concern, particularly among refugees, those suffering subsequent economic instability, and persons living in rural, remote areas.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number22
    JournalBMC medicine
    Volume2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jun 1 2004

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine(all)

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    Nelson, B. D., Fernandez, W. G., Galea, S., Sisco, S., Dierberg, K., Gorgieva, G. S., Nandi, A. K., Ahern, J., Mitrović, M., VanRooyen, M., & Vlahov, D. (2004). War-related psychological sequelae among emergency department patients in the former Republic of Yugoslavia. BMC medicine, 2, [22]. https://doi.org/10.1186/1741-7015-2-22