HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Physical Health and Health related Quality of Life in Combat War Veterans in Croatia

Article

This articles examines the physical health and health related quality of life in Croatian Combat War Veterans with and without PTSD.

Abstract

Aims: Main objective of the present research was to examine physical health and health related Quality of Life in Croatian Combat War Veterans with and without PTSD. Methods: This survey included 1450 Croatian war veterans from the whole county. Demographic data Questionnaire, General Health Questionnaire, Social Support Questionnaire, SF 36 (health-related quality of life questionnaire), BDI (Beck Depression Inventory) were used for this purpose. Results: Median age was 52 years, and all participants had spent more than three years in war. Median age of participants at the time of Homeland War was 26 years (range: 19 years to 50 years). 45% of participants had PTSD, and more than 95% reported some psychological problems related to traumatic experiences such as depressive symptoms and sleeping disturbances. 72% had moderate depression and participants with PTSD were more depressed and had more suicidal ideation compared to those without PTSD. The majority of participants were satisfied with the social support received from their families and communities, but participants with PTSD were more dissatisfied with community support than non-PTSD participants. PTSD participants had greater physical limitations, more physical pain and reported more emotional difficulties than those without PTSD. More than 60% of participants had cardiovascular problems regardless of PTSD diagnosis. 34% of participants with PTSD had oncological disease compared to 9% of those without PTSD. More than 70% were smokers with a BMI> 29. All participants were unsatisfied with their life and had a negative perception of their physical health. Conclusion: Exposure to traumatic events and having PTSD greatly lead to unhealthy lifestyle, impairing health related Quality of Life and make greater risk to developing life threatening physical problems, such as cardiovascular and oncological diseases.

Full Reference

Brajkovic, L. ; Bras, M. ; Bras, B. (2018). Physical Health and Health related Quality of Life in Combat War Veterans in Croatia. Journal of psychosomatic research. Vol: 109., p.92.