Research Article

Detention of British citizens as hostages in the Gulf--health, psychological, and family consequences.

BMJ 1991; 303 doi: (Published 16 November 1991) Cite this as: BMJ 1991;303:1231
  1. J A Easton,
  2. S W Turner
  1. Harcourt Medical Centre, Salisbury.


    OBJECTIVE--To describe the physical, psychological, and family consequences of the detention of British subjects as hostages in Kuwait or Iraq, or both, after the invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990 and to investigate the relation between types of trauma experienced and these reactions. DESIGN--Postal questionnaire. SUBJECTS--381 respondents. RESULTS--Many health, social, and psychological sequelae were identified. Problems with present finance, accommodation, and work are important causes of distress. Many hostages coped well and gained self esteem. CONCLUSIONS--A minority of respondents require further support and treatment. Expatriates in risk areas should retain assets in their home country.