Mental health problems among internally displaced persons in Darfur

Abdalla A R M Hamid, Saif A. Musa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

War victims are regarded as one of the highest risk groups for mental disturbances. This study investigated the effects of the Darfur conflict on mental health of 430 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from three camps located around Fasher and Nyala towns. A stratified random sampling technique was used to select participants. Male participants represented 50.6% of the sample while female participants represented 49.4%. The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) were used in addition to a questionnaire measuring demographic variables and living conditions. It was hypothesized that high prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and of nonpsychotic psychiatric symptoms will be evident. Results showed a high dissatisfaction rate (72%) with living conditions among IDPs. There was also high prevalence of PTSD (54%) and general distress (70%) among IDPs. Female participants showed more somatic symptoms than their male counterparts. Married participants were more distressed, anxious, and showed more social dysfunction, while single ones reported more avoidance symptoms. Significant differences related to date of displacement were found in PTSD and hyperarousal. The group of IDPs displaced in 2003 scored higher on these scales than those displaced in 2004 and 2005. There was also significant difference related to date of displacement in distress, somatic symptoms, depression, anxiety, and social dysfunction. IDPs displaced in 2003 scored higher on these scales. Results are discussed in light of the study hypotheses and previous findings. It is concluded that three factors might affect the dissatisfaction of IDPs with living conditions inside camps. These are: lack of employment, unsuitability of food items, and lack of security around camps. It was recommended that psychological support services should be among the prime relief services provided by aid agencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-285
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint

Mental Health
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Social Conditions
Advance Directives
Checklist
Displaced Persons
Darfur
Anxiety
Demography
Depression
Psychology
Food
Health
Living Conditions
Medically Unexplained Symptoms
Surveys and Questionnaires
Questionnaire

Keywords

  • Darfur
  • Distress
  • IDPs
  • Posttraumatic stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Mental health problems among internally displaced persons in Darfur. / Hamid, Abdalla A R M; Musa, Saif A.

In: International Journal of Psychology, Vol. 45, No. 4, 2010, p. 278-285.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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