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April 1993

The Psychological Impact of the Gulf War: A Study of Acute Stress in Israeli Evacuees

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993;50(4):320-321. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1993.01820160090011

To the Editor.—  Over a period of 6 weeks at the beginning of 1991, Israeli civilians were subjected to almost nightly bombings. Hundreds of families from the greater Tel Aviv area were evacuated to hotels after their homes were either damaged or destroyed.There have been very few investigations of civilians during wartime. There are a few pioneering works,1,2 but these have been mostly either impressionistic or based on very small samples. The delayed and long-term effects of psychic trauma have been documented in various settings, but relatively few studies to date have examined early responses to traumatic stress. This is important because acute stress reactions may differ from later reactions and should be considered a separate and distinct clinical entity,3 and the incidence and composition of acute stress reactions may be highly predictive of future adjustment.4,5The current study is a needs assessment conducted on evacuees