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Soc Sci Med. 2006 Sep;63(6):1477-88. Epub 2006 Jun 9.

Mental health, quality of life, and nutritional status of adolescents in Dhaka, Bangladesh: comparison between an urban slum and a non-slum area.

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National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan.


This study aims to clarify the quality of life (QOL), mental health, and nutritional status of adolescents in Dhaka city, Bangladesh by comparing non-slum areas and slums, and to find the factors associated with their mental health problems. A sample of 187 boys and 137 girls from non-slum areas, and 157 boys and 121 girls from slums, between 11-18 years old were interviewed with a questionnaire consisting of a Bangla translation of the World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment Instrument (WHOQOL-BREF), Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ), Youth Self-Report (YSR) and other questions. The height and weight of the respondents were measured. All significant differences in demographic characteristics, anthropometric measures, and WHOQOL-BREF were found to reflect worse conditions in slum than in non-slum areas. Contrarily, all differences in SRQ and YSR were worse in non-slum areas for both genders, except that the "conduct problems" score for YSR was worse for slum boys. Mental states were mainly associated with school enrollment and working status. Worse physical environment and QOL were found in slums, along with gender and area specific mental health difficulties. The results suggest gender specific needs and a requirement for area sensitive countermeasures.

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