The U.S. Air Force prisoners of war (POWs) experienced a profound degree
of stress during the Viet Nam War. The psychiatric status of this
population has been monitored by an ongoing voluntary follow-up program
from the time of repatriation through the following five years. Data
indicate a significant degree of psychiatric readjustment problems, which
were greatest among POWs captured before 1969. These findings support the
association of an unusually stressful environment with an increased
incidence of psychiatric illness.