NATAL's research in Sderot
NATAL
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Helping Sderot's residents

NATAL's research in Sderot


During 2007 professionals in NATAL examine the influences of ongoing stress situation in Sderot, in a research survey which was held with Dr. Mina Zemach, the head of a well known survey institute, IDB group and the Jewish agency.

 

Dr. Roni Berger, the head of our community outreach services, and Prof. Mark gelkopf, the head of research in NATAL, led a comparative research between Sderot and Ofakim. Ofakim was chosen as the control group. Ofakim was chosen because it's population has similar socio-economic status as Sderot’s population, is in a different geographical location and it didn’t suffer directly from the threat of Qassam rockets.

 

The purposes of the research

To evaluate Sderot residents’ level of exposure to Qassam fire.

To evaluate the frequency of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and PTSD symptoms in Sderot, as compared to Ofakim.

To evaluate the frequency of other psychiatric symptoms (depression, anxiety and somatization) in Sderot, as compared to Ofakim.

To evaluate the frequency of PTSD symptoms among children in Sderot, as compared to Ofakim.

To evaluate the utilization of social services in Sderot.

To examine variables that might be associated with traumatization and resilience in Sderot (for example: feeling of threat, helplessness, social solidarity, belonging to a community and optimism).

 

Research method

Telephone interviews with a representative, layered sample from Sderot and Ofakim. Variables taken into consideration included gender, income, education, religion and immigration status.

The survey included 506 adults over age 18. The interviews were conducted by skilled telephone interviewers, on the basis of a structured state-of-the-art questionnaire.

The interviews were conducted in Hebrew and Russian.


 

Risk Factors for Developing PTSD

Women are 3 times more likely to develop PTSD than men.

People with a low level of education are more likely to develop PTSD than people with a moderate or higher education.

Immigrants are more likely to develop PTSD than native Israelis.

Children of parents who suffer from the symptoms of PTSD are more likely to develop symptoms of PTSD and behavioral problems.

A lack of knowledge and tools for coping at the time of an incident increases the tendency for developing PTSD.

 

Summary of the Findings

Of the adults in Sderot, 28.4% report signs that are indicative of PTSD. This is a very worrisome result as it represents 3 times higher rate than the national average.

The frequency of psychiatric symptoms, their severity and resulting functional difficulties among residents of Sderot is much higher than among residents of Ofakim.

The frequency of psychiatric symptoms, their severity and behavioral and educational problems among the children of Sderot are much higher than among the children of Ofakim.

In Sderot, there is a high correspondence between the existence of parental PTSD and distress and behavioral problems among their children.

Populations with fewer resources (new immigrants and people with less education), as well as women, have a higher risk of developing PTSD.

The intensive utilization of medication and medical services is almost 3 times higher in Sderot than in Ofakim.

The utilization of the psychological (counselor/psychologist) and spiritual (rabbi/religious leader) services is 3 times higher in Sderot than in Ofakim.

 

 

 

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