Publications by authors named "Slavica Kozina"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Violence without a Face: the Analysis of Testimonies of Women Who Were Sexually Assaulted During the War in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Psychiatr Danub 2019 Dec;31(4):440-447

Department of Psychological Medicine, University Hospital Center Split, School of Medicine, University of Split, Split, Croatia.

Background: This study examined testimonies of women who were sexually assaulted multiple times by multiple unknown offenders. In these testimonial narratives, it is possible to detect specific modalities of traumatic event expression. This expression lacks any spatial, temporal, auditory or emotional determinants of the event.

Subjects And Methods: These fourteen women (out of 17) were imprisoned and forcefully isolated in detention camps or private houses in the occupied territories of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the war. At the same time, some of these women were raped by the offenders that were previously known to them. The average length of detention was 141 days among the seventeen victims (range of 7 to 395 days), while the average time from the first day of imprisonment to the first day of testimony was 311 days (range of 30 to 889 days).

Results: Based on the narrative descriptions of the events acquired from these testimonies, our analysis showed that these expressions differed when the offender was known to the victim, contrasted to the situation when the offender was completely unknown. This finding has a significant implication in victim's testimony at judicial hearings. Specifically, women that were raped by unknown perpetrator(s) were often unable to provide persuasive testimony and their recollection of the events was deemed insufficient for the further prosecution. Testimonies in these cases substantially lacked in vividness and were devoid of visuospatial determinants of the rape event. Consequently, this often resulted in the case's dismissal.

Conclusion: The unusual and problematic expression of these traumatic memories might indicate that these events were not properly stored in the conceptual form of memory. Ultimately, victims could not make any coherent recollection or reconstruct the cascade of events by using perceptual information. We argue that this could be due to an aberrant mechanism of memory storage and difficulties that emerge on the level of sensory input. This problem needs to be further examined and correspondingly accounted for since it can exert significant influence on judicial outcomes in the domain of sexual assault cases worldwide.
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December 2019

Predicting symptom clusters of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Croatian war veterans: the role of socio-demographics, war experiences and subjective quality of life.

Psychiatr Danub 2014 Sep;26(3):231-8

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Kišpatićeva 12, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia,

Background: Previous research has documented multiple chains of risk in the development of PTSD among war veterans. However, existing studies were mostly carried out in the West, while they also did not analyze specific symptom clusters of PTSD. The aim of this study was to examine the role of socio-demographic characteristics, war experiences and subjective quality of life in the prediction of three clusters of PTSD symptoms (i.e., avoidance, intrusion, hyperarousal).

Subjects And Methods: This study comprised 184 male participants who have survived war imprisonment during the Croatian Homeland War in the period from 1991 to 1995. The data was collected through several self-report measuring instruments: questionnaire on socio-demographic data, war experiences (Questionnaire on Traumatic Combat and War Experiences), subjective quality of life (WHO-Five Well-being Index), and PTSD symptoms (Impact of Events Scale - Revised).

Results: The level of three symptom clusters of PTSD was found to be moderate to high, as indicated by the scores on the IES-R. Results of the three hierarchical regression analyses showed the following: traumatic war experiences were significant predictors of avoidance symptoms; traumatic war experiences and subjective quality of life were significant predictors of hyperarousal symptoms; and traumatic war experiences, material status and subjective quality of life were significant predictors of intrusion symptoms.

Conclusions: These findings support the widespread belief that the development of war-related PTSD is accounted for by multiple chains of risk, while traumatic war experiences seem to be the only predictor of all three symptom clusters. Future research should put more emphasis on specific PTSD symptom clusters when investigating the etiopathogenesis of this disorder among war-affected populations.
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September 2014

Physicians overestimate patient's knowledge of the process of informed consent: a cross-sectional study.

Med Glas (Zenica) 2011 Feb;8(1):39-45

Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Split University Hospital Centre, Split, Croatia.

Aim: To evaluate the differences in the knowledge and attitudes of physicians and patients regarding the informed consent process.

Methods: After institutional approval was obtained cohorts of 269 physicians and 265 patients completed a voluntary multiple-choice questionnaire on the informed consent process.

Results: Most of the responses between physicians and patients were significantly different. A total of 77 physicians (30.7%) reported that they personally informed patients about their medical condition and forthcoming clinical procedures in detail and 138 (55%) informed patients as much as necessary. Only 29 patients (11%) reported being informed in detail, and 186 (70.2%) reported that they received only basic information (P < 0.001). Although 132 physicians (52.6%) reported that their patients received sufficient information to be able to decide on their treatment, only 31 patient (11.7%) reported the same (P < 0.001). Half of the doctors (126, 50.2%) reported that they informed their patients in detail on the possible consequences of treatment refusal whereas 23 patients (8.7%) were given such information.

Conclusion: There is a great discrepancy between physicians and patients concerning both understanding and knowledge of the informed consent process. The physicians have evaluated their practice of giving information and obtaining informed consent to be more detailed than their patients. The results of this study reflect the need for better communication between doctors and patients as well as physician and patient education programs on the process of informed consent.
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February 2011

Knowledge and practices of obtaining informed consent for medical procedures among specialist physicians: questionnaire study in 6 Croatian hospitals.

Croat Med J 2009 Dec;50(6):567-74

Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Split University Hospital Center, Spinciceva 1, 21000 Split, Croatia.

AIM. To assess physicians' knowledge and practices for obtaining patients' informed consent to medical procedures. METHODS. An anonymous and voluntary survey of knowledge and practices for obtaining informed consent was conducted among 470 physicians (63% response rate) working in 6 hospitals: 93 specialists in anesthesiology, 166 in internal medicine, and 211 in surgery. RESULTS. Only 54% physicians were acquainted with the fact that the procedure for obtaining consent was regulated by the law. Internists and surgeons were better informed than anesthesiologists (P=0.024). More than a half of respondents (66%) were familiar with the fact that a law on patient rights was passed in Croatia; there were no differences among different specialties (P=0.638). Only 38% of the physicians were fully informed about the procedure of obtaining consent. Internists and surgeons provided detailed information to the patient in 33% of the cases and anesthesiologists in 16% of the cases (P<0.050). Internists reported spending more time on informing the patient than anesthesiologists and surgeons (P<0.001). There were no differences in knowledge and practices for obtaining informed consent between physicians working in university and those working in community hospitals (P> or =0.05 for all questions). CONCLUSION. Physicians in Croatia have no formal education on informed consent and implement the informed consent process in a rather formal manner, regardless of the type of hospital or medical specialty. Systemic approach at education and training at the national level is needed to improve the informed consent process.
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December 2009