PTSD, Mental Illness, and Care Among Survivors of Sexual Violence in Northern Uganda

Findings from the WAYS study

Kennedy Amone-P'Olak, Ask Elklit, Sarah Bøgelund Dokkedahl

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

Background: Previous studies have mainly considered war-affected youth as a homogenous group yet several subpopulations of war-affected youth, such as survivors of sexual violence, exist with unique mental health problems and treatment needs. This study aimed to assess posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), perceptions and meaning of mental illness, and access and barriers to mental health care among survivors of sexual violence. Method: Data were collected from survivors of sexual violence during war (N = 181) who are participants in the longitudinal War-Affected Youth Survey (WAYS) study in Northern Uganda. Chi-square tests of independence and binary logistic regression were used to compute participants' characteristics and assess relations between exposure to sexual violence and PTSD. Results: Sixty-six (n = 119, 66%) reported sexual abuse: 35% (n = 63) of whom returned from captivity with at least 1 child, and 43% (n = 78) met the criteria for PTSD (Impact of Events Scale-Revised score [IES-R] ≥33). Those who reported sexual abuse scored significantly higher on PTSD (OR=3.23; 95% CI [2.09, 6.93]), perceived more stigma, reported more barriers to seeking care, and viewed mental illness as futile and fatal compared with their peers without a history of sexual abuse. Conclusions: Survivors of sexual violence are at risk of PTSD and report major obstacles to treatment and care. More resources should be allocated for interventions to improve access to care for survivors of sexual violence. Psychoeducation to create awareness, demystify myths and public stigma about mental illness, and trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapies to reduce PTSD among survivors are recommended.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Vol/bind10
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)282-289
ISSN1942-9681
DOI
StatusUdgivet - maj 2018

Fingeraftryk

Uganda
Survivors
Mental Health
Surveys and Questionnaires
Chi-Square Distribution
Logistic Models
Delivery of Health Care
Wounds and Injuries

Citer dette

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title = "PTSD, Mental Illness, and Care Among Survivors of Sexual Violence in Northern Uganda: Findings from the WAYS study",
abstract = "Background: Previous studies have mainly considered war-affected youth as a homogenous group yet several subpopulations of war-affected youth, such as survivors of sexual violence, exist with unique mental health problems and treatment needs. This study aimed to assess posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), perceptions and meaning of mental illness, and access and barriers to mental health care among survivors of sexual violence. Method: Data were collected from survivors of sexual violence during war (N = 181) who are participants in the longitudinal War-Affected Youth Survey (WAYS) study in Northern Uganda. Chi-square tests of independence and binary logistic regression were used to compute participants' characteristics and assess relations between exposure to sexual violence and PTSD. Results: Sixty-six (n = 119, 66{\%}) reported sexual abuse: 35{\%} (n = 63) of whom returned from captivity with at least 1 child, and 43{\%} (n = 78) met the criteria for PTSD (Impact of Events Scale-Revised score [IES-R] ≥33). Those who reported sexual abuse scored significantly higher on PTSD (OR=3.23; 95{\%} CI [2.09, 6.93]), perceived more stigma, reported more barriers to seeking care, and viewed mental illness as futile and fatal compared with their peers without a history of sexual abuse. Conclusions: Survivors of sexual violence are at risk of PTSD and report major obstacles to treatment and care. More resources should be allocated for interventions to improve access to care for survivors of sexual violence. Psychoeducation to create awareness, demystify myths and public stigma about mental illness, and trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapies to reduce PTSD among survivors are recommended.",
keywords = "Mental illness, Northern Uganda, PTSD, Services, Sexual violence, Sex Offenses/psychology, Cross-Sectional Studies, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Survivors/psychology, Uganda/epidemiology, War Exposure, Young Adult, Health Services Accessibility, Mental Disorders/epidemiology, Adult, Female, Social Stigma, Longitudinal Studies",
author = "Kennedy Amone-P'Olak and Ask Elklit and Dokkedahl, {Sarah B{\o}gelund}",
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PTSD, Mental Illness, and Care Among Survivors of Sexual Violence in Northern Uganda : Findings from the WAYS study. / Amone-P'Olak, Kennedy; Elklit, Ask; Dokkedahl, Sarah Bøgelund.

I: Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Bind 10, Nr. 3, 05.2018, s. 282-289.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

TY - JOUR

T1 - PTSD, Mental Illness, and Care Among Survivors of Sexual Violence in Northern Uganda

T2 - Findings from the WAYS study

AU - Amone-P'Olak, Kennedy

AU - Elklit, Ask

AU - Dokkedahl, Sarah Bøgelund

PY - 2018/5

Y1 - 2018/5

N2 - Background: Previous studies have mainly considered war-affected youth as a homogenous group yet several subpopulations of war-affected youth, such as survivors of sexual violence, exist with unique mental health problems and treatment needs. This study aimed to assess posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), perceptions and meaning of mental illness, and access and barriers to mental health care among survivors of sexual violence. Method: Data were collected from survivors of sexual violence during war (N = 181) who are participants in the longitudinal War-Affected Youth Survey (WAYS) study in Northern Uganda. Chi-square tests of independence and binary logistic regression were used to compute participants' characteristics and assess relations between exposure to sexual violence and PTSD. Results: Sixty-six (n = 119, 66%) reported sexual abuse: 35% (n = 63) of whom returned from captivity with at least 1 child, and 43% (n = 78) met the criteria for PTSD (Impact of Events Scale-Revised score [IES-R] ≥33). Those who reported sexual abuse scored significantly higher on PTSD (OR=3.23; 95% CI [2.09, 6.93]), perceived more stigma, reported more barriers to seeking care, and viewed mental illness as futile and fatal compared with their peers without a history of sexual abuse. Conclusions: Survivors of sexual violence are at risk of PTSD and report major obstacles to treatment and care. More resources should be allocated for interventions to improve access to care for survivors of sexual violence. Psychoeducation to create awareness, demystify myths and public stigma about mental illness, and trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapies to reduce PTSD among survivors are recommended.

AB - Background: Previous studies have mainly considered war-affected youth as a homogenous group yet several subpopulations of war-affected youth, such as survivors of sexual violence, exist with unique mental health problems and treatment needs. This study aimed to assess posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), perceptions and meaning of mental illness, and access and barriers to mental health care among survivors of sexual violence. Method: Data were collected from survivors of sexual violence during war (N = 181) who are participants in the longitudinal War-Affected Youth Survey (WAYS) study in Northern Uganda. Chi-square tests of independence and binary logistic regression were used to compute participants' characteristics and assess relations between exposure to sexual violence and PTSD. Results: Sixty-six (n = 119, 66%) reported sexual abuse: 35% (n = 63) of whom returned from captivity with at least 1 child, and 43% (n = 78) met the criteria for PTSD (Impact of Events Scale-Revised score [IES-R] ≥33). Those who reported sexual abuse scored significantly higher on PTSD (OR=3.23; 95% CI [2.09, 6.93]), perceived more stigma, reported more barriers to seeking care, and viewed mental illness as futile and fatal compared with their peers without a history of sexual abuse. Conclusions: Survivors of sexual violence are at risk of PTSD and report major obstacles to treatment and care. More resources should be allocated for interventions to improve access to care for survivors of sexual violence. Psychoeducation to create awareness, demystify myths and public stigma about mental illness, and trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapies to reduce PTSD among survivors are recommended.

KW - Mental illness

KW - Northern Uganda

KW - PTSD

KW - Services

KW - Sexual violence

KW - Sex Offenses/psychology

KW - Cross-Sectional Studies

KW - Follow-Up Studies

KW - Humans

KW - Survivors/psychology

KW - Uganda/epidemiology

KW - War Exposure

KW - Young Adult

KW - Health Services Accessibility

KW - Mental Disorders/epidemiology

KW - Adult

KW - Female

KW - Social Stigma

KW - Longitudinal Studies

U2 - 10.1037/tra0000295

DO - 10.1037/tra0000295

M3 - Journal article

VL - 10

SP - 282

EP - 289

JO - Psychological Trauma

JF - Psychological Trauma

SN - 1942-9681

IS - 3

ER -