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Disability associated with exposure to traumatic events: results from a cross-sectional community survey in South Sudan

Abstract

There is a general lack of knowledge regarding disability and especially factors that are associated with disability in low-income countries. We aimed to study the overall and gender-specific prevalence of disability, and the association between exposure to traumatic events and disability in a post-conflict setting.
We conducted a cross-sectional community based study of four Greater Bahr el Ghazal States, South Sudan (n = 1200). The Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ) was applied to investigate exposure to trauma events. Disability was measured using the Washington Group Short Measurement Set on Disability, which is an activity-based scale derived from the WHO’s International Classification of Disability, Functioning and Health.
The estimated prevalence of disability (with severe difficulty) was 3.6% and 13.4% for disability with moderate difficulties. No gender differences were found in disability prevalence. Almost all participants reported exposure to at least one war-related traumatic event. The result of a hierarchical regression analysis showed that, for both men and women, exposure to traumatic events, older age and living in a polygamous marriage increased the likelihood of having a disability.
The finding of association between traumatic experience and disability underlines the precariousness of the human rights situation for individuals with disability in low-income countries. It also has possible implications for the construction of disability services and for the provision of health services to individuals exposed to traumatic events.

Category

Academic article

Language

English

Author(s)

  • Touraj Ayazi
  • Lars Lien
  • Arne Henning Eide
  • Rachel Jenkins
  • Rita A. Albino
  • Edvard Hauff

Affiliation

  • University of Oslo
  • Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
  • Innlandet Hospital Trust
  • SINTEF Digital / Health Research
  • King's College London, University of London
  • Ahfad University for Women
  • Oslo University Hospital

Year

2013

Published in

BMC Public Health

ISSN

1471-2458

Publisher

BioMed Central (BMC)

Volume

13

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