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Title: Psychiatric disorders among a sample of internally displaced persons in South Darfur
Author: Mahmoud M Elhabiby, Doaa N Radwan, Tarek A Okasha and Eman D El-Desouky
Background: The violent armed conflict in Darfur has been ongoing for years getting the attention of human rights activists and mental health professionals. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess psychiatric disorders in a sample of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Darfur. Method: A cross-sectional observational study, as a part of the ‘Darfur Campaign’ organized by Arab Federation of Psychiatrists, assessing psychiatric disorders in a sample of internally displaced women using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I) (clinical version). Results: Up to 25.7% of participants had lost a close family member or more in the violent clashes. Psychiatric diagnoses were found in 62.2% of the participants. The most frequently reported was post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reaching 14.9%, followed by depression 13.5% (among which 2.7% with psychotic features), while comorbid PTSD and depression reached 8.1% of participants. Patients with psychiatric diagnoses had an older age (36.6 years) (p=.024). Suffering from a psychiatric disorder was found to be associated with losing a family member in the conflict (p=.015), being 35.6% in patients with psychiatric diagnoses compared to 10.3% in those without losing a family member in the conflict (odds ratio (OR)=4.7, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.25–18.28). Conclusions: This study used a standardized tool for diagnosing psychiatric morbidity among refugees in Darfur to give as much as possible an actual description of the problems and psychiatric morbidity caused by human-made disasters. This study can help to lead to a more detailed and specific mental health service program much needed by this population. Keywords Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, internally displaced persons, psychiatric disorders, mental health, Darfur
Distributor: International Journal of Social Psychiatry
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