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The Connection between Alexithymia and Somatic Morbidity in a Population of Combat Veterans with Chronic PTSD

Zorana Kusevic, Marta Civljak, Tea Vukusic Rukavina, Goran Babic, Mladen Loncar, Bjanka Vuksan Cusa, Rudolf Gregurek.

Cited by (2)

Purpose: To investigate the connection between alexithymia and somatic illness, or, somatization, in veterans suffering from chronic combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. Methods: Croatian combat veterans (N=127) were studied at the Department of Psychology, Zagreb Clinical Hospital Center. The diagnosis of PTSD was confirmed and verified according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). A version of the Mississippi Scale for Combat Related PTSD (M-PTSD) standardized for the Croatian population was used to assess the severity of PTSD. In addition to the clinical interview, the existence of alexithymia was confirmed by the score on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Results: A statistically significant association was found between the total number of diagnosed physical illnesses and the scores on three subscales of an alexithymia questionnaire, the TAS-20, with a 1% risk (p

Key words: alexithymia, PTSD, psychophysiological disorder, somatization disorder, Croatia.

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