Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders & Treatment ISSN: 2324-8947

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War Exposure, Peritraumatic Distress, Traumatic Grief and PTSD among Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Refugees living in Rwanda: Kigeme and Gihembe Camps

War Exposure, Peritraumatic Distress, Traumatic Grief and PTSD among Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Refugees living in Rwanda: Kigeme and Gihembe Camps

Among Democratic Republic of Congo refugees living in Rwanda, at Gihembe and Kigeme refugee camps, the relationships between War exposure and Psychological disorders, and mediation role of Peritraumatic Distress between Traumatic Exposure and PTSD were studied. A sample consisting of One hundred thirty (130) DRC refugees, 74 males and 56 females aged between 15 and 65 years old participated in this retrospective study. Trauma exposure was assessed by Comprehensive Traumatic Inventory (CTI; α:0.97), Peritraumatic distress by Peritraumatic Distress Inventory (PDI; α:0.92), current PTSD symptoms were assessed using PTSD Checklist (PCL; α:0.89), depressive symptoms by Beck Depression Inventory (BDI; α:0.90), Traumatic Grief symptoms were assessed using Inventory of Traumatic Grief (ITG; α:0.87) and general psychiatric symptoms were measured by SCL-90 (α:0.95). A multiple regression analysis was conducted to examine the contribution of these variables. War exposure correlated with PTSD symptoms, Peritraumatic distress, and general psychiatric symptoms (GPS). Peritraumatic distress symptoms among DRC refugees were influenced by witnessing abuse, injury (β=0.24; p=0.03) and displacement (β=0.22; p=0.02).The study shows that Depression among these refugees was associated with betrayal (β=0.29; p=0.02) and displacement situations (β=0.26; p=0.008). The Baron and Kenny procedure (1986) (including three separate regressions), along with the Sobel test, was used to test mediation effect. Peritraumatic distress mediates the relationship between Traumatic exposure and PTSD (the Sobel test statistic of 3.4; p˂0.000). War exposure is a complex situation, where PTSD results from trauma exposure and psychological distress.

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