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Symptoms of PTSD following recovery of war dead: 13-15-month follow-up
Am J Psychiatry 1995;152:939-941.
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OBJECTIVE: The authors explored whether individuals who participated in the recovery of war dead were more likely to experience later symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than were individuals who were not involved in the recovery of war dead. METHOD: PTSD symptoms were assessed by questionnaire in men and women who had or had not handled human remains during the Persian Gulf War: 116 men and women who had and 118 who had not handled human remains participated in the study 3-5 months after returning from the war; 55 of the subjects who had and 56 of those who had not handled human remains participated in a follow-up assessment 13-15 months after their return. RESULTS: Subjects who had been involved in the recovery of war dead had significantly higher symptom levels than comparison subjects at both time points. CONCLUSIONS: After more than 1 year, individuals who had handled human remains during wartime were at higher risk for PTSD symptoms than those who had not.

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