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March 19, 1997

Emotional Aftermath of the Persian Gulf War: Veterans, Families, Communities, and Nations

Author Affiliations

Oregon Health Sciences University Portland


edited by Robert J. Ursano and Ann E. Norwood, 570 pp, $72.95, ISBN 0-88048-652-X, Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Press, 1996.

JAMA. 1997;277(11):936. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540350086043

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In the past decade and a half, scientific literature about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has grown exponentially. Much of it stems from studies of the aftereffects of combat experience. In particular, in the wake of the Vietnam War, there was both a new realization and appreciation of the emotional sequelae of participation in battle. It is not surprising, then, that the resulting massive amount of trauma literature would be utilized in the event of another large-scale armed conflict such as the 1990-1991 Gulf War, aka Operation Desert Storm.

Just as the mental health community thought that everything possible had been written about war-related stress, an opportunity arose to examine the issue in situ. The result is an intriguing and far-reaching volume edited by Drs Robert Ursano and Ann Norwood, Emotional Aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, which retrospectively explores preparations for the psychological effects of war. This volume not only