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Changes in Post-Traumatic Symptom Pattern during and after Exposure to Extreme War Stress: An Uncontrolled, Preliminary Study Supporting the Dose-Response Model

  • Menachem Ben-Ezra (a1), Yuval Palgi (a2), Amit Shrira (a2), Dina Sternberg (a3) and Nir Essar (a4)...



Exposure to prolonged war stress is understudied. While there is debate regarding the empirical data of the dose-response model for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), little is known about how weekly changes in external stress influences the level of PTSD symptoms. The purpose of this study was to measure the relation between objective external stress and PTSD symptoms across time, and thus, gain a deeper understating of the dose-response model.


The study hypothesis postulates that the more severe the external stressor, the more severe the exhibition of traumatic symptoms.


Thirteen special army administrative staff (SAAS) members from the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa attended seven intervention meetings during the war. These personnel answered a battery of questionnaires regarding demographics and PTSD symptoms during each session. A non-parametric test was used in order to measure the changes in PTSD symptoms between sessions. Pearson correlations were used in order to study the relationship between the magnitude of external stressors and the severity of PTSD symptoms.


The results suggested that there was a significant relationship between the magnitude of external stressors and the severity of PTSD symptoms. These results are in line with the dose-response model.


The results suggest that a pattern of decline in PTSD symptoms confirm the dose-response model for PTSD.


Corresponding author

School of Social WorkAriel University Center of SamariaAriel 40700Israel E-mail:


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