Aim. This paper investigated the possible predictive and mediating determinates of quality of life in this often forgotten population, focusing specifically on the role of sociodemographics, mental impairments, coping mechanisms, resilience and hope on subjective quality of life.
Background. The family members of survivors of man-made trauma are sometimes severely traumatised themselves and may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and poor quality of life. Most studies focus on the victims and ignore the effect of the incidents on the victim’s family members.
Method. Data were collected between October 2007–March 2008, a self-report questionnaire incorporating seven scales was administrated to 175 family members of victims of man-made trauma. One-way anova was performed to compare the variance in the reported quality of life. The structural equation models of path analysis was used to evaluate the main effects and interactions and interrelations among variables.
Results. Of the psychosocial factors, having a personal previous traumatic experience was found to significantly affect post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and physical health. Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression were found to directly and indirectly affect quality of life. Coping mechanism, resilience and a hope state mediated the effect of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression making the three significant predictors of subjective quality of life.
Conclusion. Based on these findings and the scores of the different scales, clinicians may be able to design treatment plans that encourage the poorly adapting family members of victims of trauma, especially those with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, to accept changes as a part of life, nurture a positive view of the self, make connections for better social support and maintain or re-create a hopeful outlook towards life goals.
Relevance to clinical practice. Knowledge of the psychosocial factors associated with resistance to severe trauma can also help in the prevention and treatment of individuals at high risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder or depression.