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Effectiveness of a psychosocial rehabilitation programme for Iraqi repatriated prisoners of the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988

Al-Ameri, MHI (2012) Effectiveness of a psychosocial rehabilitation programme for Iraqi repatriated prisoners of the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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The literature related to war captivity has reported that most former prisoners of war are still distressed by memories of traumatic experiences of their capture and captivity decades after repatriation. In addition, the earliest investigations of the effects of this traumatic experience on those repatriates have revealed that they are still suffering from numerous psychological and physical disturbances which are directly related to the traumatic experiences of their captivity. The present study has tested the effectiveness of a psychosocial rehabilitation programme on Iraqi former prisoners of the Iran-Iraq war, 1980-1988. Ninety two participants participated in this study and were randomly divided in two groups; intervention group and control group. The intervention group underwent a 12-week intervention, for an hour a week and completed a questionnaire on 4 occasions; before starting the intervention; half-way through the intervention (6 weeks); at the end of the intervention (12 weeks); and finally, 9 months after completion of the programme. The results of this study indicate that the majority of IRPOWs have some level of: PTSD (78.3%); anxiety (62.0%); and depression (63.0%). 85.9% of IRPOWs have a degree of satisfaction ranging from 2-5; and 80.5% of them have a good number of support persons (3-6), and 95.5% of them have medium to good levels of coping. These results reveal that many IRPOWs are still displaying problematical symptoms despite good levels of social support.

The study found no differences at pre-intervention between the Control group and Intervention group for demographic characteristics (current age, age at capture, duration of captivity, time since release, and monthly income, level of education, and rank), PTSD, anxiety, or depression. This gives the researcher confidence that the sampling was effective in eliminating selection bias between the control and intervention group and that change in PTSD and other conditions are likely to be related to the intervention. The study did not find any strong associations between demographic characteristics and outcome variables (PTSD, anxiety, and depression), suggesting that there was no effect of the age of IRPOWs at the time of capture or at the time of the study, duration of captivity, the period since release, rank, level of education, and monthly income on the severity of the symptoms of anxiety and depression or on the level of PTSD. The main finding of the study was that there were changes in levels of PTSD, anxiety and depression over time and following the intervention; with significant differences between the control group and Intervention group (For PTSD: the main time effect: F= 18.39, P= 0.01; between groups effect: F= 16.93, P= 0.01; and groups interaction overtime: F= 28.64, P= 0.01, for Anxiety: the main time effect: F= 6.41, P= 0.01; between groups effect: F= 4.20, P= 0.05; and groups interaction overtime: F= 30.93, P= 0.01, and for Depression: the main time effect was NS: F= 1.94, P= 0.16; between groups effect: F= 6.33, P= 0.01; and groups interaction overtime: F= 8.62, P= 0.01). It suggests the intervention was successful in reducing PTSD symptoms but there was a lack of any differences for anxiety and depression. This might have been due to the difficult security situation which made the increased travel that the intervention group had to undertake very stressful. The study recommends that improved mental health services should be provided in primary care and confidential counselling provided through employee-assistance programmes for IRPOWs; construct further psychosocial rehabilitation programmes for IRPOWs in other Iraqi provinces; and set plan to identify and evaluate the
psychological conditions for other IRPOWs groups, including those living in other towns and rural areas and to set follow-up studies to explore their progress.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 14:36
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 22:52
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00010831
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10831
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