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Associative Journal of Health Sciences

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression among Individuals in a Post Conflict in Oyam District, Uganda

Submission: May 11, 2020;Published: June 16, 2020


Objectives: Objectives: The civilian population of Northern Uganda experienced high levels of violence and trauma during the 20-year conflict between the Lord Resistance Army and the Ugandan military. The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression symptoms of men and women, age 18 and older post conflict in Oyam district in Northern Uganda.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of adults was conducted. Participants were randomly selected from six sub-counties within Oyam. The study population were 166 men and women, aged 18 years and older. Validated screening tools, the CES-D, THQ and PTSD-8 were used to collect data on PTSD, depression symptoms, and exposure to trauma.

Results: 39.2% of the study population met PTSD-8 symptom criteria for PTSD. 41.6% of participants met the symptom criteria of severe depression and 18% for moderate depression. 12.6% of participants had experienced war related traumatic events. No significant difference between male and female in war exposure and developing symptoms of PTSD or depression was found.

Conclusion: The study found a high prevalence of PTSD and depression symptoms in Oyam district. The study did not identify a gender difference in the prevalence of PTSD or depression symptoms, which might indicate a shift of gender role in Oyam. Additional research on gender gap and PTSD and depression is recommended. Health programs should address the significant mental health needs of the population of Northern Uganda.

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