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BMC Womens Health. 2014 Feb 20;14(1):25. doi: 10.1186/1472-6874-14-25.

Assessment of reproductive health and violence against women among displaced Syrians in Lebanon.

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Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, 60 College Street, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.



The current conflict in Syria continues to displace thousands to neighboring countries, including Lebanon. Information is needed to provide adequate health and related services particularly to women in this displaced population.


We conducted a needs assessment in Lebanon (June-August 2012), administering a cross-sectional survey in six health clinics. Information was collected on reproductive and general health status, conflict violence, stress, and help-seeking behaviors of displaced Syrian women. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to examine associations between exposure to conflict violence, stress, and reproductive health outcomes.


We interviewed 452 Syrian refugee women ages 18-45 who had been in Lebanon for an average of 5.1 (± 3.7) months. Reported gynecologic conditions were common, including: menstrual irregularity, 53.5%; severe pelvic pain, 51.6%; and reproductive tract infections, 53.3%. Among the pregnancy subset (n = 74), 39.5% of currently pregnant women experienced complications and 36.8% of those who completed pregnancies experienced delivery/abortion complications. Adverse birth outcomes included: low birthweight, 10.5%; preterm delivery, 26.5%; and infant mortality, 2.9%. Of women who experienced conflict-related violence (30.8%) and non-partner sexual violence (3.1%), the majority did not seek medical care (64.6%). Conflict violence and stress score was significantly associated with reported gynecologic conditions, and stress score was found to mediate the relationship between exposure to conflict violence and self-rated health.


This study contributes to the understanding of experience of conflict violence among women, stress, and reproductive health needs. Findings demonstrate the need for better targeting of reproductive health services in refugee settings, as well as referral to psychosocial services for survivors of violence.

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