BACKGROUND An epidemiological survey was made of war trauma and its consequences in the general population.
METHOD One member aged over 15 years from each of 101 randomly selected families in a Primary Health Area in Sri Lanka were interviewed using the Stress Impact Questionnaire.
RESULTS Nearly one-half had experienced between five and nine war stresses, and one-quarter experienced over 10 (mean 6.66). Only 6% had not experienced any. Sixty-four per cent had developed psychosocial sequelae, including somatisation (41%), post-traumatic stress disorder (27%), anxiety disorder (26%), major depression (25%), hostility (19%), relationship problems (13%), alcohol and drug misuse (15%) and functional disability (18%).
CONCLUSION The trauma experienced correlated strongly with psychosocial and somatic symptoms.