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November 14, 2007

Treatment for Depression Symptoms in Ugandan Adolescent Survivors of War and Displacement—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2007;298(18):2138. doi:10.1001/jama.298.18.2138-b

In Reply: In response to Dr Başoğlu, only 42% of our study sample reported a history of abduction and exposure to war and were therefore “survivors” as he appears to be defining the term. The remainder were adolescents whose experience was not one of violence resulting from war but of displacement and years of living in 1 of the 2 crowded internally displaced persons camps where the study was conducted. In screening adolescents for inclusion in the study (we ultimately screened approximately two-thirds of the adolescent population of the camps), traumatic stress reactions and anxiety symptoms do seem to have been common in the local forms described in our article. However, these were highly comorbid with depression. While some of this comorbidity may reflect increased risk for depression among traumatized youth, depression appeared to us to be the most common disorder among those we interviewed and therefore of great concern in its own right.