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Global Health
June 18, 2014

Effect of Repeated Communal Violence on Mental Health

JAMA. 2014;311(23):2372. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.7243

Repeated episodes of communal violence that occur in countries recovering from a long period of conflict may result in increasing rates of posttraumatic stress disorder and severe stress over time, suggests a study in the Southeast Asian country of Timor-Leste (Silove D et al. Lancet Global Health. 2014;2[5]:e293-e300).

Australian researchers conducted 2 surveys to assess mental health conditions of 1022 adults in Timor-Leste exposed to mass conflict. The first survey was carried out in 2004, 4 years after an Indonesian occupation that lasted from 1975 to 1999 and was marked by extreme trauma and human rights violations. The second survey took place in 2010-2011, following a period of internal conflict that occurred in 2006-2007.

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