Quality of life in families of Croatian veterans 15 years after the war.Coll Antropol. 2011 Jan; 35 Suppl 1:281-6.CA
Exposure to war trauma with its consequences such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and disability due to combat injuries poses a significant problem for modern Croatian society. However, this is also a public health problem requiring continuous study of effective treatment strategies to achieve an increase in quality of life of most war-affected groups. Aim of this study was to examine the quality of life of population most affected by war - families of Croatian veterans. Present study included 126 female participants, who agreed to complete physical and psychiatric examination organized by the Ministry of Family, War Veterans and Intergenerational Solidarity. Included were participants with status of either wife of war veteran suffering from PTSD, wife who lost her husband in war circumstances or wife of war veteran with physical disabilities resulting from war activities. All three groups were asked to fill out the World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire - short form (WHOQOL-BREF). Results indicate that assumed intensity of secondary trauma is not associated with quality of life. Namely, the highest level of satisfaction was found in wives of the most seriously affected invalids of war (M=3.77; sd=0.741), folowed by the wives of deceased soldiers (M=3.5; sd= 0.697), while the lowest quality of life results were found in wives of veterans suffering from PTSD (M=3.12; sd=0.608). Our results confirm that, nearly 15 years after the war, wives of disabled or killed Croatian soldiers have a (comparatively) satisfactory quality of their everyday lives, compared to the wives of veterans suffering from PTSD.