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BMC Public Health. 2013 May 14;13:469. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-469.

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

Author information

  • 1Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Blindern, PO box 1171, Oslo 0318, Norway. Touraj.Ayazi@medisin.uio.no

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

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.

PMID:
23672785
PMCID:
PMC3658891
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2458-13-469
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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